Last Saturday, marked another successful Zanderthon Throw-Down. The teams showed up and came to compete. The talent on these teams is better than every and they will be able to show it off in just over a month’s time. Here are the scores from the weekend.
|UWP vs SIUE||8-1||UWP|
|UNL vs SIUE||8-1||UNL|
|UWP vs UNL||2-1||UWP|
|SIUE vs UNL/UWP Mix||4-3||SIUE|
UWP vs SIUE (8-1)– This game went as I expected it. Both teams came out a little rusty and it showed. As the game progressed, both teams settled down and started playing their style of dodgeball. UWP was never in any danger of losing this game, but the first few points were very close and it was the Pioneer’s ability to catch that turned those around. In the second half, their experience and talent kicked in and SIUE was not able to keep up.
UNL vs SIUE (8-1)– This was the second game of the day for SIUE and they were tired. UNL was coming in fresh for their first match. This caused SIUE to make some mistakes, which allowed UNL to jump ahead very quickly. At the end of the first half, SIUE settled down and started making catches and kill shots, which carried into the second half. A lot of the points came down to the wire (3 or 4 players) and SIUE was just a catch away from those points turning in their way. UNL was just too much for SIUE to handle and got the win on the day.
UWP vs UNL (2-1) This was the match of the day and it lived up to its expectations. It is the fourth game this year these two teams have played and each time the games get more competitive. UNL is a very discipline team and they had a game plan and stuck to it. For Platteville, this was one of the more complete games they have played from start to finish this year. Platteville took the first point on the day, which lasted 15 minutes. UNL was able to maintain ball control and was able to get UWP down low in numbers, but the Pioneers kept playing patiently and making catches. This extended the point until they were able to turn the table to their side. The Cornhuskers pushed to tie it up, but the half ended 1-0 UWP. In the second half, Platteville was able to secure the next point by playing more aggressive and getting UNL to make mistakes. Platteville returned the favor and it was 2-1 with the Pioneers leading. In the last point of the day, UNL got UWP down to four players, but ran out of time to tie it to send it to overtime.
Captain’s Thoughts– The following questions were asked of the captains.
1. Whose performance on your team stood out (i.e. catching, throwing, leadership,etc.)?
2. What is your team’s goal heading towards nationals?
3. What did your team do really well on the day?
4. List 4-5 players that stood out on the other teams.
Robert Gabel (UNL)– Ethan Glenn really impressed me with his ability to stay alive in the end of a point. He would throw excellent resets, and draw the other team in to get catches. I was also impressed with Carolyn Curley, a freshman, she did a fantastic job calling sides and getting catches. Our goal heading into nationals is the same as it was when we went in 2018; far exceed the expectations of the NCDA. Last time we were predicted to score zero points, and we ended up scoring points against every team faced. This time around we are going to do our best to beat higher ranked teams, and make it to the final bracket on Sunday.
I think my team did a great job assisting from the sidelines. They counted and called crosses, which is something that gets overlooked compared to things like throwing and catching. The thing that I am most proud of is that despite how intense and heated the match against UWP got, my players still walked down the center and shook their hands, and many of them thanked the refs. SIUE amazed us with how much they’ve improved since November. The shear number of catches they pulled off was astounding. Esmir Karabas (#3) was one such catcher, but he also had a great arm. Josh Dale (#2) was another threat, who could take on three or four opposing players alone. From UWP, we were impressed by the cannon of Daniel Skoumal (#35), and the court awareness of JT Warren (#34). Of course, there were other fantastic players on both teams, but these four really stood out to us.
Dan Brogli (UWP)– For us, Jared Colden (#18) and Jt Warren (#34) provided us with great leadership and communication on the court. Austin Kurey (#32) and Noah Larscheid (#1) were great at throwing and countering. I was really impressed with how well we worked and communicated together. We have been doing better and I have high hopes when nationals comes around. We were not being anxious/reckless and stuck to the game plan. Players that stood out to us from SIUE were: Esmir Karabas (#3), and Joe Perez (#23). On UNL, it was Johnathan Huebner (#21), and Robert Gabel (#17).
Joe Perez (SIUE)– On our team, Emsir Karabas (#3) stood out for his leadership and throwing abilities. Jason Wiltjer (#14) and Thomas Yancey (#1) stood out for there catching and throwing. Joe Perez (#23) stood out for his catching as well. In the future, our team’s goal is to continue to be more aggressive and work on team throws. Our team did really well working with one another when it came to blocking or throwing.
The players that stood out to us on UNL were: Colby Chohrach (#22) for his throwing ability, Carolyn Curley (#13) and Robert Gabel (#17) for their catching and leadership on the court, and Dustin Sprunk (#16) for his throwing. For UWP, Chad Jakel (#11) and Dan Brogli (#5) were excellent catchers and throwers. Jacob Sebranek (#22) stood out for his throwing abilities and Kyle Reinke (#88) did an excellent job catching our squad.
Final Thoughts– The Midway conference gets me more excited about the potential they have in the future. Each time they get together I can see improvements and adjustments being made on every team. They are learning and want to be able to compete. Expect to see all these squads at nationals and expect them to bring trouble to other clubs. These units are going to make you work for your points and work to get the win. Nationals is almost here everyone, so get pumped!