Dodgeball ready to dominate
While Grand Valley State University has been known for its varsity athletic programs, it also has club
sports with noteworthy talent. One of the most successful club sports is the GVSU dodgeball club.
Last spring, the Dodgeball Club won a national championship and a Michigan Dodgeball Cup in a
matter of months to wrap up another successful season. The players expect nothing less this
season as they prepare to defend their titles.
“More than anything, it’s our expectation to compete for another national championship and
Michigan Dodgeball Cup,” junior Kevin Bailey said. “Our program is at a point where anything less
would be a disappointment.”
In July, eight members of the club competed in a Skyzone Ultimate Dodgeball tournament that
included 16 regional sites across the country. GVSU won the Jenison, Mich., Regional Tournament
and earned its way to the Ultimate Dodgeball Championship, which was hosted in Las Vegas.
“It’s been a unique experience so far,” Bailey said. “Competing in Las Vegas on television is
something not many people can say they had the chance to do. Hopefully we can have fun, enjoy
the moment, and represent GVSU.”
The trip to Las Vegas will bring added exposure and attention to the club, which is something the
players hope will boost their fan support around campus.
“Competing in Las Vegas not only brings a lot of recognition to the sport, but it spreads Grand
Valley’s name nationally,” junior Pat Delling said. “The more accolades and championships we can
show for, the better the chance people will be interested in the club.”
GVSU dodgeball has been a mainstay on the national landscape for the collegiate sport ever since it
originated in 2006. One thing that has kept the team at the top is the growth of the recruiting
classes over the past several years.
“In the past couple of years, our program has been supported by the strength of our
upperclassmen,” club president Mark Trippiedo said. “Our incoming freshmen have really bonded
with the upperclassmen. It’s going to be interesting to see what they can bring to the game.”
As dodgeball’s popularity has risen at GVSU, the same can be said on many other college campuses
around the country. This puts the pressure on the Lakers to continue to recruit and grow in order
to maintain their dominance.
“The talent across the league is improving quickly,” Delling said. “After this year we will lose half of
our varsity roster. It’s really up to us to not only stay on top of the competition, but to also heavily
recruit this upcoming year so we can stay ahead of the curve.”
GVSU opens up the 2013 season Sept. 21 when it travels to Bowling Green State University. The first
chance to catch the Dodgeball Club in action in Allendale will be Oct. 9 when it faces rival Saginaw
Valley State University.