BOTM: 2015 September

12086881_1041133752604531_1076260122_nSeptember Baller of the Month: Matt Bautch (UWP)

This month’s BOTM goes to Wisconsin Platteville’s star player: Matt Bautch.  As an individual, Matt had a spectacular first month to the season, leading his team to victory over DePaul in the Pioneer Classic, and then performing very well in the Grand Valley Gauntlet a week later.

Matt has proved to be one of the top arms in the league, but his improved catching is what has transformed him into a likely All-American choice.  Playing for am inexperienced team this year, Matt has had to carry much of the load for UWP, and he did just that in games against SVSU and GVSU, where he proved to be the most valuable player on the court.

Here is my conversation with UWP’s star player.  He explains his teams efforts to compete against a variety of teams this year, their successful trip to Nationals in 2015, and a ver bold prediction on how far he believes Platteville will make it at Nationals 2016. Continue reading “BOTM: 2015 September”

Opening Match 2015: Pioneer Classic

PLATTEVILLE – Bo Ryan Court: UWP def DePaul 3-0 in the Pioneer Classic, the Opening Match of the 2016 Season. -zm

The team arrived in Platteville at about two in the afternoon. After warming up, we took our sides. In the first game DePaul lost players quickly, with only a few members holding on until losing. The second game was more evenly matched. Eventually, Bryan Hymel was the last man remaining on the DePaul side, holding them off until half-time. In the second half, DePaul fought hard. Tyler Hamilton was the last man remaining, then making some great catches to bring some teammates back in. After losing that game, DePaul came surging back in the final Point, getting Platteville down to only one player in the last 10 seconds left in play. Despite dropping two games to Platteville, DePaul played well and had fun in the first match of the year. – Jake Binder [DePaul 1st Year]

Previewing the Pioneer Classic

2015 UWP All Star Matt Bautch previews this weekends opening match! -zm

This weekend at the University of Wisconsin Platteville, the Pioneer Classic is taking place to test the abilities of the new 2015-2016 Platteville and DePaul dodgeball teams. Platteville has been thinking about hosting games and/or tournaments for some time now, and this year we made it happen. It’s tough to get teams to come and play when it’s quite an adventure to get here. We’re ecstatic that DePaul is making the trip to come compete with us. It’s going to be an all-out battle between the two Illinois region teams to see who comes out victorious. It will be very interesting to see how both teams are going to strategize this year. All new members of the clubs will now get a taste of how the NCDA tournaments work, and also how an opposing team may play and strategize differently than ourselves. Whenever Platteville and DePaul meet, no matter which team wins or loses, there is so much respect and enthusiasm for each team when playing.

After throwing wrenches at our new freshman recruits to teach them how to dodge, we feel that we are ready for anything, except maybe dodging traffic. When we do start dodging traffic, we will start here in Platteville, hopefully working up to Chicago-level traffic so we will be just as good as DePaul. We will get there eventually. After workouts, we drink our own urine because it is sterile and we like the taste. The nutritional value is still being researched. In addition to the physical game, we have been trying to instill the five D’s of dodgeball into every players mind. We even have them on the backs of our shirts as reminders. After all this hard work and nutritional supplements, we feel that this will be the match of the century.

Season Preview: UWP

Location: Platteville, Wisconsin                      uwp-logo

NCDA Region: Wisconsin/Midwest

2014-2015 Record: 5-2 (only losses came to GVSU at Nationals)

2014-2015 Nationals Finish: Lost to GVSU in Quarterfinals

2015-2016 Captains: C – Erik Zander, C – Matt Bautch, A – Brian Hargrove

Returning Varsity Players: 7

Players to Watch: Erik Zander, Matt Bautch, Jeremy Oney, Nick Harding

Overview: Not unlike 1990 Eurodance sensation Snap!, UWP’s certainly got the power. It’s just a matter of them getting enough opportunities to exhibit it.

Continue reading “Season Preview: UWP”

St Ambrose Analysis

This past weekend, three teams joined the league. One team hosted their own event: St. Ambrose hosted DePaul Dodgeball and Wisconsin Platteville in a Round Robin. Troy Dixon and I traveled to help Officiate the event. In this article, we perform an in depth analysis based on our on site observations.

The Court and St. Ambrose University

Zigmas Maloni: Let’s start with the Court, location and any intricacies related to dodgeball played on this surface. Any thoughts?  Continue reading “St Ambrose Analysis”

WIU Round Robin

MACOMB – DePaul Dodgeball joined Western Kentucky and Wisconsin Platteville for a Round Robin hosted by Western Illinois on October 23.

This week was a monster for DePaul. In preparing for our matches we had to weed 17 people of our 40 plus regular ballers. The greater majority of our veterans have been injured in non dodgeball related injuries, while others had work and all the right excuses. Then on the Wednesday before, one of our drivers texted us and said he broke his collarbone. By our Thursday dodgeball night, we had barely enough car space for 14 players, bringing just five people with tournament experience. And I got my neighbor’s bike was stolen on Tuesday.

We received our club shirts just a week before travel, and with no free time I managed to heat-press the traveling shirts so we might look like a team. Kevin Hill managed to get the waivers in, and I managed to take two of my cars to fill the space left by our other driver’s injury.

We ended up leaving only 15 minutes late, a small record for DePaul Dodgeball.  But after 60 minutes of driving in the rain, Kevin’s car suffered a blown out tire near Ottawa, IL. He had to wait more than two hours for a new tire to be installed. In the mean time, 8 members of the team continued onto Western. By this time, Western and the rest of the teams had already started playing. We made a small pit stop, and the Chicago Eight decided to keep going as we were more than half-way there.

Arriving an hour or two late, DePaul is forced to play three matches in a row, with only 8 people for the first match. Fortunately, UWP was awesome and really fun to play since they had only brought 11 people. For these 8 person matches, only Kuncklepuck [#54] and myself had any past tournament experience; the rest of our team were  By the time I got out of the car after that forever stretch of road that is Route 34, I didn’t care what really happened.  I wasn’t going to think about the crap week I just had, I wasn’t going to think about the five hour drive in my really small car, I wasn’t going to worry about the shot clock. I just wanted to run around and be really, really loud. And this is what I did.

By our second half with Western Kentucky, reinforcements show up from Kevin Hill’s car, WKU pulls out the crowns, and we continue to have a really fun game. Trick shots, gladiator dodgeball, and pulling an Iron Curtain keeps everyone happy.  Our rookie players really got into our cheers, and it seemed like we had a lot of catches. I believe DePaul definitely had the most fun out of anybody in Macomb.

For the later half of our match with WIU, some of the younger players started getting a little frustrated with how serious WIU was taking the game. I think this might have been part the team being tired from traveling for 5 hours and then playing three straight hours. Another part was the majority of WIU taking dodgeball against DePaul way to serious for the entirety duration of the match. But then again, the majority of DePaul didn’t let it faze them. No matter what they are going to play dodgeball their way, and I’m really proud of the way the team played that whole day.

Since not enough people wanted to stay the night, we decided to hit up Walmart to take advantage of cheaper taxes for the hanging out at home. Then the team had a quick family dinner at Wendy’s before driving home under a full moon. We even managed to stay under budget if you don’t count Kevin’s blown tire.

500 pictures and 500 miles later, DePaul Dodgeball remains undefeated.