Last weekend, Michigan State University hosted their annual tournament: the MSU Invite. In attendance were five NCDA teams along with Michigan States “Impact Sports TV crew, filming and commentating many of the games played. Here is a brief recap of this event:
Grand Valley State: 4-0
Grand Valley once again proved to be the top team in the nation this past weekend. The Lakers benefited from their strong depth with production from some lesser known players last weekend. Anthony Incrocci performed well in both the MSU and CMU games with a number clutch catches, and freshmen Kurtis DeYoung proved to be one of the best players on the court with his clutch play down the stretch in their nail biter game against MSU. Trevor Nordberg, a more established star player, had a dominant performance against CMU to help GVSU go undefeated on the day.
Central Michigan: 3-1
CMU impressed me again last weekend. The Chippewas had nearly their full roster in attendance at MSU and it showed. CMU went 3-1 on the day, highlighted by a 3-0 win over MSU (their second straight win over the Spartans). Against MSU, each point was close except one. In the first half, the Chips took a 2-0- lead thanks to strong catching all around, especially by Jacob Leski. In the second half CMU was able to control the pace of the game for a while before it came down to a 1 v 1 situation in which CMU player Tyler Frank prevailed by hitting the MSU player and giving CMU a 3-0 lead. CMU lost to GVSU 2-0, but were able to control the pace for a good portion of the game, and keep the game competitive until the end. Central benefited from strong performances by Tyler Prill and Brett Hadwin.
Michigan State: 2-2
MSU ended up with a disappointing 2-2 record at their home tournament but it wasn’t all bad for the Spartans. MSU was two player eliminations away from forcing overtime against GVSU, and played strong against the Lakers for most of the game. Against CMU, the Spartans kept it close for the most part, with the final score of 3-0 not reflecting the competitiveness of the game. MSU had good performances by Colin O’Brien, Noe Galaviz, Riley Robson, and Dan Grogis.
DePaul earned their first win of the season in their first tournament of the season at MSU last Sunday. They seemed to have more depth than WKU in this tourney and came away victorious in the game after dropping their other three matches to the three Michigan schools. Led by Samuel Murphy and Niko Nodal, this team has some talent and seems to rely on their strong catching abilities.
Western Kentucky: 0-4
WKU went 0-4 thanks in large part of only having 10 players. With a full roster this team would have competed much better. #10 (his name escapes me right now) played great all tournament with a number of catches in each game. One thing to note: Captain Nick Johnson used his timeouts to perfection in the CMU game, in one situation calling a TO when the majority of the dodgeball’s were in WKU’s zone but out of his reach when he was the last player left, pinned on his back line. In the second half, he called a clutch timeout when he found only a few feet away from a CMU player who had a ball in hand. The timeout was called a split second before the CMU player could release his throw, so Johnson’s timeout brilliantly saved him from getting eliminated. Needless to say, WKU will benefit from having a full roster playing at OSU on Nov. 9.