Dodgeball club falls one win shy of record

By Mark Washburn | 3/23/15 9:06am

GVL/Courtesy - Nicole Bailey Grand Valley Dodgeball; back to back national championshps.
by Picasa and Courtesy / Nicole Bailey / The Lanthorn

Between 2006-10, the Grand Valley State club dodgeball team won 41 games in a row, setting a record for the most consecutive wins in National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA) history.

On Saturday, GVSU tied its own record with 41 consecutive wins, but also suffered its first loss of the season: the streak-breaker.

Central Michigan University hosted the CMU Showdown on Saturday. GVSU squared off in four games during the day, going 3-1 with a loss to CMU, moving its season record to 30-1.

The Lakers began the tournament by beating Saginaw Valley State, 3-1.

In February, the Lakers crushed the Cardinals 4-0, but this was not the same SVSU team as before.

“Against SVSU, we played well,” said senior assistant captain Dylan Fettig. “They were a lot tougher this tournament than in the Michigan Dodgeball Cup.”

In the next bout on the dodgeball court, GVSU took on perennial powerhouse James Madison. JMU entered the tournament undefeated, just like the Lakers, and came away with their first loss of the season against CMU, just like the Lakers. 

Despite the similarities, the Lakers recorded their 41st consecutive victory, winning handily 3-0.

“The JMU game was kind of a letdown because they just lost to CMU, so they were playing slow and without purpose,” Fettig said.

The next game of the day was against CMU. 

At the Michigan Dodgeball Cup, the Lakers unleashed a fury of physicality that was too much for CMU to handle. But on Saturday, CMU returned the favor with a 2-0 streak-snapping victory.

Right before the end of the first half, GVSU had a chance to swing momentum but was unable to hit an especially elusive Chippewa.

“We had a close situation versus CMU where we were one person away from earning a point, but he stayed alive until halftime,” said senior captain Kevin Bailey.

In the final game of the day, GVSU took on Michigan State and pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory.

Similarly to how GVSU took down JMU by capitalizing on their lack of energy, MSU was almost able to do the same against GVSU in the final game.

Moving forward, junior assistant captain Aaron Terenzi still likes the outlook of the team despite the loss.

“Now we don’t need to stress about keeping an undefeated record and can just focus on playing dodgeball the Grand Valley way,” Terenzi said.

For Bailey, he can see where improvements need to be made.

“Our loss was certainly disappointing, but it was certainly a wake-up call,” he said. “The loss made us realize a few things we need to work on in the next few weeks of practice. We took the loss well, and we know we can rebound and still win nationals.

The 2015 NCDA Nationals take place from April 10-12 in Bowling Green, Ky.

“This team is extremely resilient, so I am confident we will learn from our mistakes and come back next tournament as a better team," Bailey said.

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