There were plenty of outstanding performers over the weekend at Akron’s WAR III tournament. Many of the players that made noise at the tournament were little known players nationally prior to last weekend. It is only fitting that after one of the best tourneys ever, we provide a list of the best performers at the event. Listed below are the top 24 standouts from WAR III:
Tom Morand (Miami) – MVP
Helped Miami force overtime against Towson thanks to an improbable comeback win in the final full point of regulation. He nearly did the same thing in overtime. Tom made double-digit catches in the final 20-ish minutes of the game. Unreal performance. WAR III vaulted him right into the thick of the 2019 NCDA MVP race.
Josh Lyons (Akron)
One of the most underrated players in the country, Josh Lyons had yet another strong performance this semester. He was a big reason why Akron nearly pulled an upset over SVSU. He also made a wild 1 v 8 comeback against Ohio State!
Kyle Bruce (SVSU)
At WAR, Kyle Bruce once again proved why he is one of the most well known players in the league. His throw was too difficult for some Ohio teams to defend, plus his low catching remains top notch.
Kenny Mize (SVSU)
Kenny’s play down the stretch in their comeback against Akron was a highlight from day 1. Outstanding catching and timely throws by Mize helped save the day for SVSU.
Joey Stack (Akron)
Another Akron player who had a fantastic tournament, Joey’s throw looked as strong and effective as it ever has at WAR. He should certainly be in the All-American discussion come April.
Payton Schuster (MSU)
Maybe not the most dominant day overall for Schuster, but when his team needed him most he came through, throwing out most of Towson’s overtime roster (including one ball that bounced off a Towson player’s chest and into the rafters) en route to an upset win.
Ben Pazichanics (PSU)
I’m convinced if this guy played for a Michigan school he would be a household name in the NCDA. Ben has a great all-around skill set. I expect big things from him and the Nittany Lions over the next few months.
Jacob Weber (Akron)
His teammates advertised him as ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the start of the tourney, and after his epic performance in OT against Ohio (2 catches, 3 kills), I have to say he should be in the ROY discussion. Very bright future ahead for this guy!
David Guare (Towson)
Few players in the NCDA have as great of instincts as this guy. Perfectly timed cross after perfectly times cross. He was a big part of Towson’s offensive strategy all weekend, and a vocal leader as well.
Owen Sill (BGSU)
The Content Team has done this man a disservice by not giving him more props in the past. He was especially impressive this weekend, standing out quite a bit in BGSU’s game against CMU on the livestream court.
Colin Moerman (Towson)
One of many standouts for Towson, he was 1/3rd of the group that made the epic comeback to finished off CMU in the final seconds of regulation. Great weekend for Colin.
Colin Sporer (Towson)
One of Towson’s leaders (and another 1/3rd of the comeback crew), Sporer helped the Tigers to a 3-1 record on the weekend. His arm was a big reason why Towson’s offensive attack was so hard for opponents to deal with.
Jack Hilt (MSU)
Another stellar rookie class for MSU. Jack Hilt seems to be the headliner right now, as he made the Spartan’s overtime roster, even making the final kill in their upset over #2 Towson.
Kyle Taylor (CMU)
If it weren’t for this rookie, CMU likely goes down 2-0 before halftime against Towson. Instead, Taylor made 4 or 5 catches in one point to help the Chippewas stay in the game.
Dominic Tyburski (Miami)
This strong-armed lefty for Miami was a big reason for their successful weekend. While the RedHawks came up short against Towson, performances from players like Dominic give this team optimism that they can compete with the best teams in the country.
Austin Michael (Miami)
Austin had some great moments this weekend. A smart player that is not afraid to attempt a catch even against the strongest arms, his skill and leadership will be crucial for Miami down the stretch this season.
Brandon Kirby (Towson)
Another member of the 3-man comeback against CMU, Kirby had a solid all around weekend. This second-year player has a bright future ahead of him in the NCDA.
Brett Miller (PSU)
Once again Miller proved why he should never be thrown at. WAR was just another opportunity for this guy to make catches that few players can make. Whether it was a team throw, or a ball an inch off the floor, Miller made the play.
Jacob Fleck (Ohio)
Maybe not the most well known Ohio player, but Fleck certainly made a name for himself at WAR. Especially in their matches against PSU and Akron.
Kelvonte Nesmith (VCU)
Kelvonte has phenomenal instincts as a catcher, and it showed this weekend (especially in VCU’s OT win over Kent State).
Zach Howman (Ohio)
Zach wasn’t the best thrower on Ohio’s team by any means, but his outstanding catching in the second half against Akron really turned heads. If Ohio has any plans on winning the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, Howman will need to once again play like that.
Tyler Schmitz (Towson)
This man has a heck of an arm. A crucial part of Towson’s offense, expect big things from Schmitz the rest of this season. He will catch some teams off guard with his talent.
Wayne Shortt (VCU)
A well-known veteran for VCU, he was a top arm on a team that arguably doesn’t rely on offensive firepower. He will be a crucial piece for the Rams the rest of the season.
Jake Larsen (Ohio)
Probably the most underrated arm in the NCDA. Larsen showed off his skills at WAR, with some crushing hits.