ROTM April 2022 – Cole Machiela (SVSU)

I had a chance to sit down with Cole Machiela of Saginaw Valley State University who was selected as April’s Rookie of the Month.

Cole is a Freshman studying Spanish and Business Management at Saginaw Valley State University. He was a standout player who played a key role in the Cardinals’ offense and led the team as an Assistant Captain. Going forward, expect Machiela to continue to be household name within the realm of college dodgeball.

Cole Machiela, #31 at Nationals. PC: Max Vincent

Kathryn: Congrats on being selected as Rookie of the Month! And big congrats on being selected for the NCDA All-Rookie Team! How did it feel when you heard the news?

Cole: I thought it was awesome. There were a lot of talented rookies this year for sure – so it was definitely a big honor.

K: You definitely made a name for yourself after your OT win against UWP at Nationals day one. What were some of your favorite moments from Nationals? Was Nationals what you expected?

C: Playing in that OT6 game was definitely my favorite moment of Nationals. It was a very fast paced, and I definitely had a lot of fun just being in the atmosphere with all the teams in the same gym. It was a blast.

K: What are some of the key aspects of your play style that help separate you from your peers? Did any prior sports prepare you?

C: I think that my past of being a catcher in baseball for my whole life really translates well into dodgeball because of the endurance of my arm. All of the travel baseball games I’ve had to cram in a single weekend prepared my endurance and catching ability.

Machiela winds up for a throw in overtime against UWP. PC: Kathryn Mays

K: What areas do you think you have the most room for improvement?

C: I’d like to improve on my arm strength and overall consistency on my catching.

K: Playing next to veterans like [Bryce] Stevens and [Joe] Barber can help you see what it takes to play at a high level. What tips and tricks have you picked up from them that have helped you?

C: Definitely on how to be a lot smarter on my throws, knowing where to aim, and when to throw.

K: Going into the 22-23 season, what would you say is your goal for SVSU dodgeball?

C: I don’t think it’s unrealistic for the SVSU dodgeball to go farther than this past season. Since we are only losing two vets we could go on a run next year at Nationals.

K: Are there any teams/opponents you look forward to playing?

C: I’d love to play OSU again considering we were so close to beating them in the sweet 16 game at Nationals. I am definitely looking forward to playing them again.

K: What piece of advice would you give to upcoming rookies?

C: If you are considering coming out or trying out for your team’s club… DO IT!!! It’s a lot more competitive than I had originally thought, and it’s a ton of fun.

SVSU teammates rush the court after Machiela ends the overtime point against UWP. PC: Kathryn Mays

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