Lakers stay perfect in GVSU Dodgeball Invite
Average Joe’s Gym would be proud of the kind of skills demonstrated by the Grand Valley State University club dodgeball team so far this season.
GVSU has been chucking rubber balls at other collegiate competitors since 2005. Since then, the Lakers have acquired two National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA) championships, and are looking for another one this spring.
Kevin Bailey, a member on the team, said the differences between what you would do in a sweaty fourth-hour gym class and what they do at tournaments comes down to how much strategy is involved.
“People would be really surprised in how much strategy goes into what we do,” Bailey said.
Not only do the Lakers have a lot of strategy involved, but they also attribute a lot of their success to the amount of practice that is involved. The team practices three times a week for two hours at a time.
On Sunday, that practice paid off as the Lakers hosted the GVSU Dodgeball Invite at the Fieldhouse Arena.
The event, which featured a round-robin format, included teams from Central Michigan University, Kent State University, Davenport University and Michigan State University.
The Lakers played MSU twice and came out on top both times. GVSU won 5-1 in the first game, and 2-1 in the second one.
GVSU's Aaron Terenzi said he attributes the narrow second victory to fatigue after playing all day.
“Both teams were very tired, so it took a team effort to come away with a victory,” Terenzi said.
The Lakers had been looking forward to playing Michigan State all week because the teams are almost perfect competition for each other.
“Michigan State was the first team to score a point against us this season at the last tournament,” said GVSU dodgeballer Dylan Fettig. “MSU has never beaten us. They’re hard to play against because we focus more on throwing and hitting people while they focus more on the catching side of the things. They are well suited against us.”
GVSU also played Central Michigan, and beat the Chippewa’s in a narrow 2-1 contest.
After another successful weekend, it’s safe to say the defending national champions are meshing well together this year. Fettig said that in years past there had been power struggles, but this year everyone seems to be getting along really well.
GVSU must wait until April 10 to defend its NCDA crown, but the Lakers will be doing all they can in the meantime to prepare for the challenge. This year they are hoping to remain undefeated, a feat they haven’t been able to accomplish for the last five years.
The members of the club are very proud of being the national champions for each of the last two years. They carry a sense of pride when wearing their GVSU uniforms, and – with a perfect 12-0 record so far this reason – they have plenty of reason to.