The first East Coast tournament of the year gave us a first look at 3/4 teams in the region in UMD, UVA, and JMU. While the results may not be the most shocking, there are plenty of interesting takeaways from this small tourney!
Also, check out episode 3 of the Neutral Zone Rewind for more!
UMD 2-1 UVA
UMD 3-2 JMU
The hosts went 1-1 on the day with a tight, yet confident 2-1 victory over UVA, and probably the closest the Terps have played JMU in a long time with a 3-2 loss. The results were definitely encouraging for a group that carries some big aspirations this season. Standouts on the day were Adam Butz and Connor Engel with 20 and 19 kills respectively across the two games. Sophomore Franklin Zessis really stepped up in the game vs JMU with some big kills and catches to pull the Terps close. We won’t have to wait long to see what is next as UMD travels to Pink Out on 10/21.
James Madison (2-0)
JMU 5-0 UVA
JMU 3-2 UMD
The Dukes held firm over two teams that they were expected to beat. Cruising by UVA and securing a close 3-2 win over UMD is a solid start for a squad that lost more production than any group in the country last year. As expected, senior Trent Shaffer was a standout for JMU and appears to be an early season contender for 1st team All-American and potentially National Player of the Year. Joel Froyen and Noah Conyers each filled some of those big production holes left behind last year with impressive throwing prowess on display. For the Dukes to make it back to the final four or further, they will need some of their supporting cast to become household names in the NCDA.
UVA 1-2 UMD
UVA 0-5 JMU
Albeit an 0-2 start, this was not a bad showing from UVA. A close loss to UMD and a deceptively scored 5-0 defeat may not have helped the record, but it provided some much-needed early experience for the Cavaliers. Sophomores Arden Levin and LJ Jones showed some great strides from last year and look primed to lead this group for the next couple of seasons. Captains Wyndham White V and Kenji McCartney did not skip a beat stepping into the larger leadership roles on the court. UVA will be traveling to Penn State in early November which could be a great opportunity for the group to get some exposure to some out-of-region teams and not the same couple of East Coast opponents.