GVSU dodgeball club sweeps Central Michigan tournament
Lakers return from three-and-a-half month break with easy sweep
GVL / Courtesy - GVSU Dodgeball Club
Stinging blows. Missile throws. Quick reflexes, clutch catches and key switches. For many, dodgeball is an action-packed nostalgia-fest. For others, memories that would better be forgotten. For the Grand Valley State dodgeball club, it's an opportunity to dominate on the court.
In a return to action after a three-and-a-half month break, the Lakers toppled Kent State, Akron and Saginaw Valley State by scores of 4-1, 10-0, and 3-2, respectively, in the King of the Mountain tournament hosted by Central Michigan on Feb. 6.
“We’re really proud of the way all of our players played today, especially with it being the first tournament,” said GVSU's Austin Morley.
The three-time defending national champion Lakers rolled into Mount Pleasant, Michigan equipped with 12 first-year varsity players in an effort to get them in-game experience before matches that would come as more of a challenge.
“(The tournament) was an excellent learning experience," said senior Terrance Spears. "For a lot of guys, it was their first varsity meet and we’ll carry this momentum going into our next tournament."
In fact, the young Lakers were able to earn a bit of extra playing time as their match against SVSU went into a sudden-death overtime.
Early on in the match, GVSU executed its game plan to perfection and put itself in position to cruise to victory, but the Cardinals charged back into the game simply by adopting their own strategy, and managed to tie the score at the end of regulation.
In the 6-on-6 sudden-death bout, the Lakers settled in and eliminated all of their opponents, while losing only one comrade.
The Lakers acknowledge they could have dove head-first into the tournament with reckless abandon, but instead took the route of using it as a learning experience. The results came as no shock to the veterans of the squad.
“We started out a little bit slow, but that’s expected from the first games of the year,” Morley said. “We expected to play the way we did today. We had 12 first-year varsity players this weekend, so nothing came as a shock.”
Just because the athletes were not blown away by the performance put on, however, does not mean they do not expect big things from themselves down the road, even with such little experience on the roster.
“Bottom line is that we have a way younger and more inexperienced team than we’ve had since any of us have been on the team, but it’s clear we’re gaining momentum and that when nationals come around, we’ll be where we want to be," said Kevin Bailey. "If we keep improving the way we want to, we’ll be in good shape."
The Lakers will return to the court in East Lansing, Michigan for the Michigan State Dodgeball Cup on Feb. 27.