This Saturday, November 13, 2021, The Midway Conference is finally back in action with the Pioneer Classic! The teams that will be in attendance are the University of Wisconsin Platteville (UWP) and the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). It is a double header with a mix and match game thrown in between. The schedule for tomorrow’s event can be seen below.
|Time||Team 1||Team 2||Referee|
With this being the first tournament of the year for both squads, I expect there to be a little rust. Both teams will need to get a feel for the game again after not being in action in almost two years. UNL and UWP will have full rosters so I expect both teams will play with intensity and speed. Each squad will have familiar faces as there are a lot of returners that you will see on both sides of the court. There will also be a lot of new faces as both teams have been able to recruit big rookie classes and I for one can’t wait to see how talented these classes will be in a few years. These teams will make for close games and hopefully exciting matches!
University of Wisconsin Platteville
When you take a look at Platteville, in years past, they have relied heavily on their ability to catch to beat the Cornhuskers. I think this year they will try to do the same, but I think this time around they are looking to have more balance and hopefully we will see more throwing. This team will be looking to use their speed to transition to get outs with the hope that it will cause UNL to make mistakes that they can capitalize on.
University of Nebraska Lincoln
The Cornhuskers, in past years have always been a very disciplined team, and with the amount of players that have returned I have to imagine they are still as disciplined as ever. This makes a team like UNL a hard team to beat because it leaves very little room for them to make errors, which is why the UWP vs UNL games have been close. I know that UNL has already come up with a game strategy to compete and counter UWP’s play and will not wavier from that plan.
Keys to Winning
UWP will need to get off to fast start and be aggressive so that they can dictate the pace of the games and not allow UNL to get comfortable in their game plan. The Pioneers need to continue to catch, but look to get outs with their arms. Their court awareness will be key in helping them maintain a healthy ball control to push UNL back. For the Cornhuskers, the key for them will obviously be to implement their game plan and stick to it. They will also need to pull off more catches than they normally do if they want to take points on UWP. Finally, the biggest thing for them is that they will need to be able to communicate effectively and not have miscommunication mishaps or the Pioneers will capitalize on those mistakes.
Overall, the Pioneer Classic is going to be exciting and a lot of fun. I feel the games will be close and will tell us a lot about what the Midway Conference is going to be about this year. Based on the experience of the rosters, I say that UWP has the edge on UNL and that will make the difference. We hope to stream the games on the Dodgeball UWP Facebook page so be on the look out and let’s get excited for some dodgeball!