Mid-Season Recap: East Coast Region

By Daniel Fernald


  1. James Madison (JMU)
  2. Penn State (PSU)
  3. Maryland (UMD)
  4. Virginia (UVA)

JMU heads into the Spring semester as the top dog on the East Coast. However, Penn State is nipping at their heels. PSU had a rough start to the season and got embarrassed in their first tournament of the year at Pink-Out. Although they rebounded by becoming the first team to knock off Ohio State this season, the Nittany Lions still have a ways to go in the consistency department.

The bottom of the region is as expected coming in. Although this is a stronger bottom than most regions, UMD and UVA have still struggled to get one of those signature wins. UMD came close twice this year vs JMU, but could not finish. On the other hand, UVA is significantly deeper than last year and could be a force to be reckoned with come nationals.

Most Improved Team – Virginia

While their record may not back this up as much as it should, UVA is definitely the most improved group on the East Coast. The thinner margins in their results with NCDA powers and the eye test alone show how far this group has come. Virginia is an incredibly athletic team with tons more room to grow. One interesting storyline to follow is how much player retainment UVA has going into the Spring. It is something that has decimated their numbers after hot starts in years past and something the Cavaliers will need to mitigate if they want to be a team that plays to their final-eight talent level.

Below Expectations – PSU

Being one of the NCDA teams returning the most talent from this past season, Penn State has really struggled to show their consistency as a top team. As seen by their win over OSU, they can beat anyone. However, demonstrated by their 6-0 loss to Miami in October, we really do not know what to expect on a game-to-game basis. While PSU has struggled with some injuries early on, a title contender should be able to push through. If they can straighten this season out, the Nittany Lions could very well be making their first final four or better.

Top Rookie Class

Virginia this year has put together quite the rookie class. While many of their names aren’t being spread around the league yet, the young Cavaliers are amongst some of their largest contributors on the court and are the primary reason this squad has seen so much improvement this season. Penn State has also had noteworthy rookie contributions, especially at the Happy Valley Throwdown.

Top Rivalry – JMU vs PSU

Pretty much since JMU came into the NCDA, one of the top rivalries in the whole league is JMU vs the next-best team on the East Coast. In the last couple of years, that team is Penn State. The matchups between these two schools over the last couple of seasons have been fiery, to say the least. At least once per match, the refs need to call time and break up an altercation. This season is no different. Be on the lookout for these teams to produce some instant classics this semester and potentially square off in the first-ever East Coast Dodgeball Cup.

East Coast Dodgeball Cup Prediction

At this point, you have to pick JMU. Being the top team and the only team in the region that’s already topped every other, it is the easy choice. Despite all the losses from last year, young players have filled big roles for this group so far. Joel Froyen and Noah Conyers have stepped into the big shoes left by last year’s seniors and have become stars in their own right. However, I would not count out any team in this region to potentially take home the inaugural ECDC.

All-East Coast Team Prediction

  1. Hunter Stewart (PSU)
  2. Trent Shaffer (JMU)
  3. Adam Butz (UMD)
  4. Joel Froyen (JMU)
  5. Grady Holmes (UVA)
  6. Joey Tiger (PSU)
  7. Wyndham White V (UVA)
  8. Noah Conyers (JMU)
  9. Eli Villareal (JMU)
  10. Caleb Dixon (UMD)
  11. Cloud Tapia Manon (PSU)
  12. Ian Robb (PSU)

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