GVSU wins Michigan Dodgeball Cup

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson
Senior Matt Zinn dodges the opponets throws

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson Senior Matt Zinn dodges the opponets throws

Zach Sepanik

Chaos, transition and defense are just a few strategies in dodgeball, but when you played in middle school gym class, none of them probably came to mind.

Last Saturday, chaos was the strategy used by the Grand Valley State University dodgeball team to capture the Michigan Dodgeball Cup – its fifth in a row. The team swept Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University and Lansing Community College to finish the weekend 4-0 and take home the title as the underdog.

“It was as tough as it could be because those teams are probably going to be the ones that fight for the national championship later this year,” said senior Lenny Reinart. “We focused a lot more on working as a team instead of working on individual strengths. Also, keeping ball control, meaning not giving the opposition more than six balls at one time, was important.”

In the first game of the tournament, the Lakers faced Michigan State and won with ease 5-1. The second game featured the Lakers against a tough Central Michigan squad who defeated GVSU 4-2 earlier in the season, but the Lakers had the upper hand this time around and managed to win 2-1.

“The competition was real stiff,” said fifth-year senior and team captain Jimmy Stokes. “Our first game against MSU was great, as we came out firing on all cylinders. Our second game was the hardest game of the tournament for us, against Central Michigan University. It was really high-intensity and really fun.”

The third game matched up GVSU against long-time rival Saginaw Valley, a team that defeated the Lakers earlier this season 3-0. The Lakers got two points in the first half and were able to stall and frustrate the Cardinals enough to hold on for the victory.

In the final game of the day, a first-year team from Lansing Community College challenged the Lakers, but Stokes said by that point, he knew they had won.

“It was certainly one of the most fulfilling Michigan Dodgeball Cups,” he said.

Fifth year senior and assistant captain Greg Trippiedi found the team’s strategy helpful throughout the tournament.

“Our strategy going in was to play a bit chaotic because we feel when we raise the speed of play with an aggressive mentality, other teams have trouble processing what we are trying to do,” he said.

Stokes said he realizes what this win will do for his team heading toward the national championships.

“It will help our image because going into the tournament, no one really respected us,” Stokes said. “And it will definitely help our morale and probably help the guys work harder in practice. The downside is that teams will realize that we are good, so they will bring their A-game.”

The GVSU dodgeball team is in action again at noon on Feb. 27 in the Fieldhouse Arena against Central Michigan University.

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