This Saturday, November 11th, the University of Wisconsin Platteville (UWP) will be hosting the follow teams at the Pioneer Classic: University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL), Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Below is the schedule and a highlight of the teams and some thoughts from the captains. Thanks to Caleb Newell for making the schedule graphics.
University of Nebraska– The Cornhuskers look to continue their dominance in the Central Region and win all of their games. They are expecting to have the same squad that they had at the Cyclone Clash but with additional weapons, which only makes them a harder opponent to compete against. UNL will keep working on building good habits as they have high expectations for themselves and want to make a statement this year. Expect to see the them come out of the gate this weekend swinging and let the league know what they are made of.
Concordia University Wisconsin–This will be the Falcons first event of the year and with a full year under their belts, it will be interesting to see how CUW does this time around at the Pioneer Classic. They got a lot of experience last year and they want to continue the trend of getting better and competing and picking up more wins. We already know that this is an athletic bunch and will be able to hang with other teams. The question for them is will they be able to make enough plays to put themselves in a position to compete against more experienced teams like UNL and UWP. Also, will they be able to limit mistakes against UIUC to pick up a win and not let the game get away from them.
University of Wisconsin Platteville– For the season, UWP has got four games in against some of the top teams in the league in UNL, MSU, and GVSU. Those were great learning experiences and they hope the lessons learned will carry over and bring them success this weekend. With a full roster, they will have their best squad and be able to compete at a higher level. It will allow them to better build team chemistry and use more of their experienced veterans on the court. At the end of the day, the Pioneers want to be able to know where they stand as a club and what work they need to put in to continue to get better. This club wants to get to the next level and they are putting in the work to make it happen.
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign– UIUC will be finally kicking off their season at the Pioneer Classic. This team joined the league last year at the Miami Madness and this will be their second tournament ever. For most of these players, this will be their first time seeing any action on the court so it should be exciting and fun to see them play. They will almost have a full squad so they should be able to stay fresh and keep points competitive.
The following questions were asked from the captains about this weekend.
Erik Zander– What are you expecting to see from your team this weekend?
Caleb Fowler (UNL)– I’m hoping for my team to be dominant and play our game this weekend. I think late in the season it will pay dividends for us to force other teams to play to our strengths. Also, we want to keep getting our rookies experience.
Charles Cardenas (UIUC)– I expect us to start a little messy, but only get better throughout the day. By the end of the tournament, there may be a new central region powerhouse.
Caleb Laux (UWP)– I am excited for the team to perform this weekend. With our first tournament jitters out of the way and a great roster, we’ve got a great shot at winning our rematch against UNL. I’m also excited to play the newer teams and hope to give them another great tournament experience.
Connor Knott (CUW)- We are excited to get our first matches of the season in and just compete.
EZ-Who do you expect or hope to stand out?
CF-I’m going to shout out two rookies because they are extremely similar and its their first event. Malaki Shriner-Horne and Adrian Moses. They are both strong arm rookies who have taken well to how we want to play and expect they can be all-rookie candidates. I’m going to expect Dillon Mundy to be a standout returner this weekend. He is just the swiss army knife of this team. He can throw, he can catch, and he is a court general. He has the ability to take over points and continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NCDA.
CC-We have many good players with a variety of skills, but I’m hoping to see Ehis Eromosele, a veteran player, shine with leadership and flashy plays. For our rookies, Konnor Del Mar will be one of the biggest threats on the court with a rocket of an arm.
CL-This weekend I’ll be watching all our rookies and looking for some great progress since each of their last tournaments. Our returning players are also showing great growth. Caleb Newel finally returns from an injury, so his arm will definitely aid us in our matches this weekend. Also, watch out for other returners such as Jalen Sims and Eli Huntley.
CK- We are looking for our captain Paul Brock to make a big impact this year as a veteran. He is a fantastic utility player that does everything well. He is an automatic block. For rookies, I believe Ethen Hiland will make a major impact. He has a strong arm and is a confident player. Brenden Rindhage is a rookie who also has an immensely strong arm and should make an impact for us. Finally, Alicia Schroeder is a rookie who is also a captain. She commands the team well and is a very talented player, as well as a calming presence.
Final thoughts–This is going to be a great weekend filled with some awesome games! UWP will be working to stream both courts for all the matches. Court 1 will be streamed on the NCDA YouTube Channel and court 2 on UWP’s YouTube channel. Should anything change, check for updates on the event page. The links to each are below and make sure to follow and subscribe to both channels so that you get the notification when we are live!