THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS CO-AUTHORED BY:
COLBY BRICELAND (AKRON) AND TOM MORAND (MIAMI)
This Saturday, Miami University will host the Redhawk Invite. In attendance will be 4th ranked BGSU, 7th ranked Kent, 10th ranked Miami, 12th ranked OU, 13th ranked Arkon, and 36th ranked BSU. This tournament will be an early look into which team will be the top ranked team in Ohio. Among the previously mentioned teams BGSU, Akron, and OU will be playing in their first tournaments. While Kent, Miami, and BSU already have one underneath them.
What will be the goal of this tournament for every team? Does each respective captain value getting their rookies experience or going undefeated or can they do both?
Below, Tom Morand and Colby Briceland will discuss each official matchup at the Redhawk Invite, and will provide predictions as well:
Round 1 – 10:00 A.M.
Miami vs BGSU
Tom Morand– This matchup has only occurred twice since Miami rejoined the league during the 2016-2017 season, resulting in BGSU winning on both occasions. This tournament will be BGSU’s first tournament after coming off of a Final Four finish. I believe Miami will come out on top of this game because they only lost a handful of players in addition to already playing in a tournament. Prediction Miami def BGSU 4-1.
Colby Briceland: I am very much looking forward to this match. Miami has been on a tear since the spring semester and they have not let up since. This is the season opener for Bowling Green, who had an extremely strong finish to the 2017-2018 season. I am very curious to see how the falcons look since losing some key components last year. With two great Ohio teams facing off in one of the opening matches of the Redhawk invite, this will be one of the marquee matches of the day. BGSU 4-3 Miami (OT)
Akron vs BSU
TM- I heard that BSU will not be bringing a complete roster of 18 to this tournament due to various injuries. Akron will be looking to come out guns blazing and be trying to get back into the NCDA’s style of play compared to Elite. I think Akron will capitalize on BSU’s lack of experience and take this game handily. Prediction Akron def BSU 6-0.
CB: BSU is an evolving team, but unfortunately they don’t have it put together enough to take the “W” on the far more experienced and skilled Akron Zips. Kevin Frye is a good player, but it will take more than one good player to beat this Akron Squad. Akron 4-0 BSU
Miami vs Kent
TM- In the history of the NCDA Miami has never beaten Kent in a match. This match will be one of the matches of the day. Kent did lose a handful of players, but both teams have plenty of strong arms. I think whichever team is hitting more of their throws will end up on top. I think with the fact that Miami is hosting this tournament they will home court advantage and take the game in overtime. Prediction Miami def Kent 3-2 (OT).
CB: This one was hard to predict for me, as Kent and Miami can both be hit or miss. This one will come down to whatever squad has it put together on Saturday. With the Redhawks being the home team and presumably having their full strength roster, I am going to give this one to them. Kent State is a great team, for sure top tier, but they have a habit of dropping big matches early on. Miami 3-2 Kent
OU vs BSU
TM- I think OU’s captains will be trying to prove OU belongs with the other top team in Ohio. That being said, I think OU will use their strategy and wear out BSU. I can see BSU getting close on a few points, but not much further than that. Prediction OU def BSU 5-0.
CB: Noah Ourant is the new captain of OU and he surprised me the most last season from his gameplay. Without their mouthpiece Caleb Arnold, I think that the Bobcats can have some success this season, but it may take awhile. That being said, Ohio takes this match easily. OU 4-0 BSU
Akron vs BGSU
TM- This prediction will definitely be a controversial one. BGSU and Akron will both have one game under their belts at this point, but Akron’s roster will be more warmed up. A majority of their roster played all summer long in Elite and BGSU’s roster could still be a bit rusty. I have Akron winning by one point. Prediction Akron def BGSU 3-2.
CB: If we take last season into consideration, it would be a safe bet that BG will take this one over Akron, however, in the last two times these teams faced off, Akron has been consistently a thorn in this team’s side. Bowling Green is a great team, and no one should take them lightly as they are good at harvesting new talent, but Akron is returning all key players. This one will be a close match. Akron 2-1 BGSU
Kent vs OU
TM- I feel like some people may feel this game is going to be closer because of Kent’s showing last week, but I highly disagree. Kent will have all their starters in attendance unlike at Penn State and will be looking to go positive on the day. I think OU will gain a lot of valuable experience for there rookies, but Kent will take this game by at least a three point margin. Prediction Kent def OU 4-1.
CB: If I’m correct in my predictions, Kent State will be looking to make a statement after a close loss to Miami, so I expect this squad to be firing on all cylinders for this one. Ohio has had close matches with the Golden Flashes in the last few meetings, but I fully expect Parker and Greg to show why they are Kent’s new captains in this match. Kent 4-0 OU
Miami vs BSU
TM- As each team’s third game everyone arms will be slowing down. BSU will feel the exhaustion of play 3 games without a full roster. At this point in the day I see Miami being exhausted from 2 massive wins and shifting their focus to catching rather than throwing. That being said, I feel this might be the closest game for BSU on the day and take advantage of Miami’s schedule by scoring a solid point. Prediction Miami def BSU 5-1.
CB: Miami is becoming an upper mid card player, while Ball State has yet to break through that threshold. This will not be the match where they do that. Miami is on their home court at full squad strength. Miami takes care of business here. Miami 5-0 BSU
BGSU vs Kent
TM- If my previous predictions comes to fruition BGSU will be 0-2 and they will be heated for their last game. I think whoever scores the first point on this game will take the match. Kent will definitely have more arm power left at this point, but will that be able to beat BGSU’s dominate catching game? Prediction Kent def BGSU 4-2.
CB: This one is the other big match of the day, and will be telling of how well these teams operate late in the day. With Kent having warmed up their rookies with that Penn State Tournament, I feel that they will be better equipped to handle the fatigue that sets in late during a tournament. This one will not be an easy win against the Falcons though, as they still are a top tier talent, and won’t be taken down easily. Kent 3-2 BGSU
Akron vs OU
TM- I can’t wait to ref this match. I know OU is bringing a full roster and bunch of rookies to this tournament and at this point in the day they should have picked up on enough to be dangerous. I predicted Akron to beat BSU and BGSU, but I am not sure if they will have enough in them to round out the day going 3-0. This game will go back and forth until the match is over. Prediction OU def Akron 3-2.
CB: This match is going to come down to grit. Akron will have to give it everything to take care of the Bobcats, and likewise for OU. Neither of these teams wants to lose this one and go home on a loss. This match will be close till the end, but I’ve got to give it to my Zips on this one. Experience and skill trumps numbers. Akron 3-2 OU