News from the Team

November 9, 2014

Thank you to GVSU's Kevin Bailey for writing the following recap:

On Sunday, Nov. 9, Saginaw Valley State University played host to Grand Valley State University in the annual “Battle of the Valleys” dodgeball game.  As is always the case in this rivalry, the game was very competitive.  GVSU wound up being the victors by a score of 3-1, but don’t let the two point deficit fool you; this game could have swung either way.

1st Half

It didn’t take long for exciting dodgeball to take place when this game began.  SVSU came out of the gate extremely fast, and GVSU was unable to match their opponent’s intensity.  The Cardinals possessed the ball advantage right from the start with great execution on the run-up.  Using the ball possession advantage to control the pace of the game, SVSU was able to slowly chip away at Grand Valley’s numbers.

Saginaw used great counters to GVSU team throws/solo throws to get a huge man advantage.  About midway through the first half GVSU was down to only three players: Kevin Bailey, Tyler Kowalk, and Trevor Nordberg.  The good news for the Lakers was that all three of these players were overtime-roster players, and more than capable of orchestrating a comeback during this first point of the match.

The three GVSU players eluded a number of attacks from SVSU (they had close to 10 players remaining still), but eventually the Cardinals were able to execute.  The Cardinals first got an elimination on GVSU’s captain, Kevin Bailey with a well-timed cross-court throw, and then moments later eliminated GVSU’s Tyler Kowalk in the same manner, leaving Trevor Nordberg alone on the court.  Nordberg was able to last for a while, but eventually an SVSU team throw caused him to drop his block ending the point.



Midway through the 1st half

Point #2 started in similar fashion, with the Cardinals gaining a slight ball advantage.  Again, SVSU used this advantage to control the game for the first couple minutes of the point, getting eliminations on many of Grand Valley’s best players.  SVSU at one point, dropped GVSU to the 10-count, and looked in position to take a 2-0 lead on the heavily favored Lakers, but the tides were about to turn.  In a span of only a few minutes, Grand Valley climbed back into the game with clutch catches by Sophomore Britt Skinner, Juniors Drew Jones and Aaron Terenzi, as well as Senior Ben Newhouse.

GVSU gained ball advantage at this point and after a few on-point team throws most notably by Sophomore Todd Millar and Assistant Captain Dylan Fettig, the Lakers had Saginaw down to one man.  Blake Grivetti remained on the court for SVSU, and had the task of surviving about 5 minutes in order to preserve Saginaw’s 1-0 lead going into halftime.  Grivetti was able to avoid several throws by GVSU, and gained the ball advantage back for Saginaw before calling a timeout with about three minutes remaining.

Grivetti was then subbed out for another player (he had been sick for the past few days, and thought it would be better to sub in a new player at this point).  After the timeout, the first throw by SVSU was caught, locking the game up at 1, with the final three minutes rolling over to the second half.




The first half of this game was arguably one of the most competitive halves of dodgeball played all season, setting the stage for an intense second half.

2nd Half

The second half started off different than either point in the first half, with the Lakers able to attain ball-advantage right off the bat.  With a much more organized approach in the second half, GVSU ran away with the first point, winning it in six or seven minutes.  One huge difference in this point was the execution of blocks for GVSU.  Saginaw’s counter throw/cross-court throw strategy is as dangerous as any team’s in the NCDA, but Grand Valley made the necessary adjustments in order to protect their top throwers from quick eliminations.  GVSU finished the point with the majority of their roster still on the court, taking the lead with about 21 minutes remaining in the contest.



21 minutes remaining in 2nd half

The second point of half #2 looked very similar to the first.  Grand Valley excelled when they gained the ball advantage and the Lakers were able to get some important outs in transition against a disciplined opponent when it comes to defense.  Grand Valley took a 3-1 lead with about 14 minutes left in the contest, making it a near impossible task for the Cardinals to tie the game up before the 50 minutes was up.



14 minutes remaining in the 2nd half

Saginaw began the next point with way more intensity than either of the points they had lost in the second half.  SVSU seemed like they weren’t worried about losing at this point, and played less timid in the final 13 minutes.  Thanks to stellar play by Grivetti, Andrew Miller, Kyle Foster, and former captain Max Siler, the Cardinals found their stride in this point and dropped GVSU down to the ten-count shot clock fairly quickly.

The game slowed down once GVSU got down to three players: Sophomore Devon Calero, Freshman Ben Tubergen, as well as Bailey.  The three Lakers played conservative and slow paced the rest of the game, preventing Saginaw from getting a point.  When the second ticked off the clock GVSU actually had a 2-1 man advantage with Calero being the only Laker eliminated in the last five or six minutes of action.




Overall, this was a very competitive match from start to finish.  Many people around the league were beginning to doubt that Saginaw Valley State would remain one of the elite schools in the NCDA due to their limited matches this year.  One thing I am certain about is that anyone that was on hand for the 2014 version of “Battle of the Valleys” would agree with me when I say SVSU looked sharp in this match.  Whether the Cardinals will be able to keep the momentum going from this strong performance is yet to be seen, but they kept it close with arguably the best team in the country on Sunday, which is an accomplishment in itself.  Saginaw joins Central Michigan as the only two teams to hold a lead against the Lakers so far this year.  Keep in mind SVSU was pretty darn close to taking a 2-0 lead into halftime, but a late rally by GVSU’s remaining players flipped that point in favor of Grand Valley.

Something worth noting is the SVSU crowd was the best I have seen since attending BEAST II at James Madison last year.  Saginaw had a decent crowd supporting them, and it was a factor for sure in that 1st half.  One other tidbit of information is that you might not recognize the Cardinals next time you play them because they won’t be sporting their traditional black uniforms.  At Battle of the Valleys, SVSU decided to debut their new red and white jerseys!

 April 27, 2014

Tonight, the Saginaw Valley Dodgeball Team held its annual end of the year banquet. It's the one time of the year we dress up a bit fancy, cook some homemade food, share fond memories, and send off the seniors and those players not returning in the fall. I'm sitting here trying to gather my thoughts and process the fact that I am officially done as an SV Dodgeballer.

I was unable to give any sort of a real senior speech tonight because I'm a female and I get emotional, but there are surely things that I would like to express.

During the summer going into my Freshman year of college, I began working at a summer camp for children. We would play dodgeball against the little ones and after I beamed a few of them in the face (with the soft squishy balls of course), one of my coworkers, who actually happened to be an alumni of the Michigan State University Dodgeball team suggested that I look into the Dodgeball team here at SVSU. I of course laughed at him and told him he was crazy. That there was no chance in hell that was going to happen.

As fate would have it, that night when I got home, I had a notification on Facebook that someone had posted in one of the Freshmen pages I had previously been apart of. I went to the post and just laughed at what I was reading. Some Jason Stein guy had posted about the Saginaw Valley Dodgeball Team. I was baffled. I really thought that it was meant to be at that point.

So, I thought about it a little bit, and then thought about it a little more. At the welcome picnic for the Freshmen, I walked past the dodgeball table once, and then twice, and probably a third time, before a small blonde girl said, "Hey come play dodgeball!"

I can still recall my first practice. It was a zoo in the Cardinal Gym. There had to be 100+ people. I remember standing on the sideline, wide-eyed, thinking,  "What the hell did I just get myself into?"

Eventually, I made my way off the sideline and on to the baseline. I can still feel the chill I got the first time a red rubber ball went flying past my head. I can remember getting hit by one of the balls and walking off the court, probably cursing some obscenities. Why I came back? I have no clue. There was just something really special about being in that Cardinal gym.

Oh. And then in my first actual game, I got smoked by Spencer Jardine and ended up with a black eye. Perfect. But hey, I came back the following Monday, and stood right back on that baseline. Eventually, instead of running away from the balls or simply walking off the court so I didn't have to get thrown at, I stood there and put my arms out. And I'll be damned. I caught one. After countless practices of returning to my place with red and bruised limbs, that catch meant everything.

Never would have thought that one catch would lead to many more. I ended up making the National Roster as not only a freshmen, but as a female freshman. I was able to play alongside some of the greatest talent on the NCDA's biggest stage. It was quite the honor.

Man oh man. And then my sophomore year, I was there to witness the Saginaw Valley team win their first MDC and eventually go on to win a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. That is something no one can ever take away from me or from anyone on that team. That feeling of being the best is a great feeling that I hope our young guns will be able to feel one day.

My junior year was kind of a blur... we had some ups and downs and our season was ultimately cut short when we fell in the elite eight round to MSU in the National Tournament.

However, this year was a different story entirely. This year has been the most challenging and difficult of my entire life. Had it not been for this dodgeball family, I do not know where I would be right now. The team opened up the season with a tournament at Kent State. I had every intention of attending this tournament. However, the Tuesday prior to the event, I received word that my mom was given 24-48 hours to live.

As my teammates were fighting their own battles on the court, my mom was fighting the battle of her life. My mom ultimately passed away that Saturday night and I didn't know what was next for me. I was just kind of in a state of numbness and unknowing.

Within the next few days I had an overwhelming show of support from this dodgeball family. They all made sure to let me know that they were thinking of me and my family and that they would all be in Saginaw waiting for me to get back whenever I was ready. If it had not been for this team, I would have not returned to school this year.

Having the knowledge in the back of my head that I had a family to return to, that were going to provide me with the support I needed to get over and move through this difficult time in my life, means more than any of them will ever know. I can still recall walking into the Cardinal Gym a week after my mother passed away and having a line form just so everyone could give me a hug and welcome me back.

I just want to take a moment to thank each and everyone of my teammates, my brothers, and my sisters, for being the wind beneath my wings this year. You really have no idea what your love, kindness, and support has meant to not only me, but to my family as well. Whether you all know it or not, you saved me from myself this year and I will always be grateful for each and every one of you.

I have been a part of countless teams in my lifetime, but this one has been more than that. This is my family. I will forever cherish the laughs, the jokes, the fights, the tears, and most importantly the memories I have created with each and every one of you. To my fellow seniors, and super seniors, and ultra super seniors, and to those of you not returning in the fall, I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

                                                               April 26, 2014

Tonight, the Saginaw Valley Dodgeball team has heavy hearts. Derrick Ammons, a member of our dodgeball family has passed away in a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

April 14, 2014

The SVSU Dodgeball team finished up another well fought season this past weekend. Although playing some of the best dodgeball ever seen at SV, the Cardinals came up just a bit short in the National Tournament held at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Joey Oliver, staff writer at the Valley Vanguard drafted the following article regarding the tournament this weekend.

With four minutes left in the game, the Club Dodgeball team had cut the lead to 3-2, but the Lakers and the clock were too much for the Cardinals.

Sunday, the Club Dodgeball team fell 3-2 in the national championship game to rival Grand Valley State University.  The game marked the end of another impressive season for SVSU dodgeball.

In the championship game, Grand Valley State got off to a quick start, going up 3-0 against the Cardinals.  SVSU refused to quit, and with aggressive play began a comeback that came up just short with time running out.  According to team captain Max Siler, it was a game against the clock as much as it was against the Lakers.

“We fought back aggressively in the second half, countering every throw and making big catches,” Siler said.  “The momentum completely shifted, but we just ran out of time and finished NCDA (National Collegiate Dodgeball Association) runners-up.”

Grand Valley State came into the game ranked No. 1 in the NCDA, and had an idea of how to attack SVSU on the court.

“In the first half, they just kept us pinned back and maintained ball control,” Siler said.  “It really countered the fast-paced way we play and kept us off balance.

“We made some adjustments, went all-out aggressively and really turned the tide.”

The nationals tournament appearance marked the end of a successful season for the Cardinals, with achievements such as the Michigan Dodgeball Cup.  Siler said he couldn’t be happier with the way his team performed throughout the weekend.

“There’s not a single guy on the team who didn’t have a great weekend,” Siler said.  “I am extremely proud of this team, from Saturday until our near-comeback against Grand Valley.”

The Cardinals set the tone for the tournament Saturday, with a blowout, 6-0 win over the Ohio State University, the hosting team.  From there, SVSU never let up.

“Ohio State has a really good team, so coming in and playing them on the first day and just demolishing them in front of their home crowd really set the tournament up,” Siler said.  “Overall, this tournament showed off some of the best dodgeball we’ve played all year.

“A lot of guys stepped up.”

Planning for next year, Siler said the team will be losing a number of its senior leaders, but the younger guys from this year are more than ready to step up.

“We have a lot of promising young talent who have proven themselves throughout the season,” Siler said.  “They’ve got some big shoes to fill, but we’re definitely looking to reload rather than rebuild for next year.”

One of the bigger names that won’t be coming back next year is senior Spencer Jardine, according to Siler.

“Spencer’s had such a huge impact on this team for the entirety of the time he’s been here,” Siler said.  “His experience and leadership aren’t going to be able to be replaced.

“He’s really instilled the attitude that this team carries with it.”

February 18, 2014

Over the weekend, your Saginaw Valley Cardinals traveled to Michigan State University to compete in the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. This annual tournament houses the Michigan dodgeball teams in order to declare the best dodgeball team in Michigan. After a grueling day, the Cardinals were able to come out on top for the second time in three years and were crowned the 2014 Michigan Dodgeball Cup Champions.

The following article was written by Joey Oliver, a sports writer for SVSU's school newspaper The Valley Vanguard.


For the second time in three years, the SVSU Dodgeball Club brought home the Michigan Dodgeball Cup.

Saturday, the dodgeball club traveled to Michigan State to participate in the annual Michigan Dodgeball Cup tournament.  With four wins over Siena Heights, Michigan State, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State University, the Cardinals took home the cup while toppling an undefeated Lakers team that many throughout the conference considered the best in the nation.

Team captain Max Siler said the team had to fight through plenty of adversity to win the cup, but it’s the struggle that makes it special.

“We came into the tournament knowing that we had to play Grand Valley,” Siler said.  “We beat Siena Heights and Michigan State, then had to turn around with no break to take on Grand Valley.

“It felt amazing to overcome exhaustion and beat our undefeated rival.”

Grand Valley came into the tournament featuring a perfect 19-0 record, something that’s not easy to accomplish in the toughest dodgeball conference in the country.

“A lot of dodgeball people will tell you that this tournament is a great way to foreshadow what the national tournament will look like,” Siler said.  “Michigan has the toughest dodgeball schools, so when you get a bunch of teams together, it’s a good indicator for who’s the best.

“It’s the biggest regular season tournament of the year.”

On the journey to playing Grand Valley, the Cardinals beat Siena Heights 10-0 and Michigan State 3-1.

“The game against MSU was a lot closer than the score made it look,” Siler said.  “We had already beaten them this season, but they came out and played better than we expected.”

Against the Lakers, SVSU went up 2-0 with nine minutes remaining.  Grand Valley cut into SVSU’s lead to make it 2-1, but the Cardinals held on for the final five minutes to take down the Lakers and the tournament.

Siler added that the credit for the dodgeball team’s success has to go to the students who make up the team.

“It really gives us a sense of pride for the team and the university,” Siler said.  “It really reflects on the success of the students here at SVSU.

“Having a club sport bring home a trophy of this importance is really something special.”

The Dodgeball Club is also planning its second annual Alumni Game, in which past dodgeball alumni revisit SVSU to take on the current club team.

“We’re currently working out the details, but we’re definitely excited to host this game again,” Siler said.  “Trying to get gym space is a pain as a club sport, but we’re shooting for April just like last year.”

Next month, the club is also looking to host one last tournament at SVSU for the seniors leaving the club.

“We’re working on getting schools to sign up for a tournament next month right here at SVSU,” Siler said.  “We want to have a senior night where we can honor all of the guys who will be graduating next year.”"

Here's to an exciting last two and a half months to this already thrilling season.

 January 19, 2014

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year to all! Well your Saginaw Valley Cardinals got their winter practices underway this past Monday. Woof, are we out of shape... It seems as if too many Christmas cookies and too much buffalo chicken dip were consumed over break. I know I am definitely guilty on that buffalo chicken dip charge. Anywho, we have two practices left until we head to Central Michigan for the CMU Tournament on January 25. Hopefully the team will be able to kick ourselves into another gear and do some work this week at practices.

Former Captain and Vice-President of Towson Dodgeball, Sean Smith wrote the following preview on Saginaw Valley's dodgeball team for this final stretch of the year.

"I think I already said this once, but even if I did I’ll say it again: I seriously underrated the Cardinals at the beginning of the season. I don’t know why but I thought they were on the verge of falling off some after their loss to Michigan State at Nationals last year. However, I will not equate them to this year’s Auburn though and call them a team of destiny. With Max Siler running the show, and Zach Phelps helping as an emotional leader, the Cardinals could very easily make it to the final match this year. Saginaw has only lost to Grand Valley, Kent and JMU this year, and wiped the floor with everyone else from what I’ve heard. Oh, and as a last point, Spencer’s back for another semester…. again. Official prediction: #2 Michigan seed, #2 National power seed."

For the full article and preview of the Michigan teams, please visit:

Only time will tell what the Cardinals are made of this semester. Do we have it in us to make it to the National Championship game this year? Or are we destined to fall apart and fall just short again? Only time will tell...

Stay tuned.

Novemeber 20, 2013

Dodgeball is a little like a war zone. Ok a very miniscule relativity, but the relationship is there. Each side has a mission, terminate the enemy, excessive force preferred,  no mercy. What other sport do you see grown men and women throwing hypothetical missiles at one another? In what other sport would a teammate willingly throw themselves in front of an almost literal bullet?

I was sitting at practice Monday night, just observing. I was thinking that I had yet to write a write up about our last tournament in Miami. Then I figured I could just post the article written in the school paper. The more I thought about it, the story or article doesn't come from the on court action. It shouldn't come from between points and games or 50 minutes on the court. The story comes from behind the scenes, at practices.

For many of the Saginaw Valley Dodgeball players, including myself, this isn't a team, this is a second family, a home away from home. This is a comfort zone, away from the stress of the real world. For two hours twice a week,  it is like we enter some alternate universe.               

Inside the doors of the Cardinal Gym it is a safe haven. We don't hold tryouts like some of the other teams. You don't have to be able to throw a certain mile per hour, hell you don't even have to have an athletic bone in your body. It's preferred and probably better for your own well being, but not a necessity. Because once you enter our doors, you are one of us. You are part of the family.

It really is a sight to see, the way our little family functions. We have the moms and pops. We have the star athlete child, the class clown child, the nerds, the gamers, the know it alls, the tough guy, the scapegoats, the skater kids, and the protectors. Pretty much the Breakfast Club of dodgeball teams.

Somehow it works though. It really works. Sure we have our arguments and our on the court blowups, but at the end of the day, hands are shaken and hugs are exchanged. I wish other teams could say they had a bond like ours but I really don't think it is true or possible.
Anyway, I just wanted to give those of you on the outside looking in, a slight glimpse of my home away from home. A glimpse of my brothers and sisters.

November 10, 2013

Despite only fielding 11 players against teams of 15 during the weekend, the dodgeball club posted a 2-2 record in its road trip to Miami, OH.Team captain Max Siler said despite having no depth and having to play four games, his team competed well, and he thinks the results would be better if circumstances played out differently.

“We played every game at a four-man disadvantage, and we still pulled off two wins,” Siler said.  “The games we lost were to Grand Valley State and James Madison, who are ranked No. 1 and No.2. “Against James Madison, if we would have had a full squad, I have no doubt we would have won.”

SVSU beat Western Kentucky, 3-0, and Miami (OH), 5-1, before falling to Grand Valley State University, 4-0, and James Madison, 3-1.  Siler said the game against James Madison started with the Cardinals coming out firing and showing once again why they’re a force to contend with going forward.

“Right now, we are the hottest team in the league with how we’re playing,” Siler said.  “If you look at our losses, we’ve lost to Grand Valley three times, and they’re ranked first. “Our other losses were James Madison and Kent State who are both top five teams.”

Currently, the Cardinals are ranked fourth in the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA) with a 7-5 record.  Grand Valley State University, James Madison, Kent State and the University of Wisconsin Platteville round out the top five.

Siler added that individual performances powered the Cardinal to their two wins during the weekend, fighting through exhaustion through each game. “We had a ton of contribution from our underclassmen, like sophomores Joe McCumber and Blake Grivetti,” Siler said.  “Spencer Jardine played well, as always and Stephanie Faloticio came up in the clutch multiple times with big catches when we needed them.”

Going forward, the winter semester has more action planned for the dodgeball club, and Siler said that anyone interested in joining can come to practice. “The second semester of the year is always great for picking up talented new recruits,” Siler said.  “Some of our best players this year joined last winter and have become even better.”

Practices are held in the Cardinal Gym every Monday and Wednesday at 10 p.m. “Anyone can join as long as you want to make a commitment to the team,” Siler said.  “I encourage anyone interested to come out and check it out.”

Siler also mentioned that the dodgeball club is doing a special event in January. “We want to host an alumni game where past dodgeball players can come back and play the current team,” Siler said.  “We did it last winter semester, but due to the timing didn’t quite have the turnout we’d like.

“With more planning and better timing, we think this time it should be a big hit.”

Thank you to Joey Oliver, staff writer at the Valley Vanguard, for this article.

October 26, 2013

The Cardinal Dodgeball team hosted the Michigan State Spartans for the first time since the Spartans abruptly halted the Cardinals’ back to back National Championship hopes back in April. The two teams had their first contest of the season at the Summit Street Slugfest hosted by Kent State in Ohio. The Cardinals defeated the Spartans 4-0 in that first meeting. However, both the Cardinals and the Spartans were competing with depleted rosters.

On Saturday, both teams were manned by fully loaded lineups. The Cardinals played some of their finest dodgeball during the first half of the match up. SVSU came out balls a blazing in the first and second games with exceptional leadership, team work, and communication. The Cardinals went up 2-0 in less than 15 minutes of the first half.

Michigan State was able to capitalize on some sloppy play displayed by the Cardinals and gained their first point with 45 seconds remaining in the first half. At the end of the first half of play, the score remained 2-1, Cardinals with the advantage.

The Cardinals regrouped at half time and returned to their strong play. Derailing the Spartans and obtaining three more points, the Cardinals ended the game with a 5-1 victory over the Spartans. Senior Captain, Max Siler, acknowledged the impressive outings of SVSU new comers, sophomore Blake Gravetti, sophomore Jesse Hoffman, and Sophomore Joe McCumber.

Nate Council, four year veteran and newly named Assistant Captain, had the following to say about this Cardinal effort. “We communicated well. We came out with intensity and at the pace of play we strive for. Even though we fell short for the one point, I was proud that the team didn’t give up and came out stronger after half time. It was a great team win today.”

The Cardinals’ next match up will be against Grand Valley in the annual Battle of the Valley’s contest next Sunday at Grand Valley.

October 2013

                The SVSU Dodgeball team is officially back into the swing of things for the year. We currently sit comfortably in 2nd place between number 1, Grand Valley State University, and number 3 James Madison University. Lots of dodgeball has already been played with a crazy month of nonstop dodgeball ahead of us.

             SVSU traveled to Kent State to compete in the Summit Street Slugfest. The Cardinals were matched up against teams such as
The University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, Kent State, and Central Michigan University. Going into the competition at Kent State, SVSU was predicted to go 0-4. With a bit of a misfit roster, the Cardinals ended the tournament with a 3-1 record beating Kentucky, MSU, and Central with impressive performances by some of our first year players.

              Most recently, Death Valley hosted a Round Robin Tournament of Champions, with the past three National Championship Teams in attendance, SVSU, GVSU, and CMU. The Cardinals perhaps put themselves at a disadvantage by electing to play GVSU first. Both teams were fresh and ready to go. However, GVSU proved to be the better team, beating host, SVSU, 2-0.

               The Cardinals' second match of the day was against Central Michigan University. After losing the first point, SVSU came out with a vengeance winning the next two points led by a timely catch by Greg Gaskins. However, after halftime, CMU was able to tie up the score 2-2. Ultimately the Cardinals regained their momentum and won the next point and held off the tenacious Chippewa's for seven minutes in order to get the 3-2 win.

              The Cardinals have a busy month ahead of them with great opportunity to take over the top spot in the league depending on if the team can come together as one. SVSU will be hosting MSU to round out October. November will be a daunting task for the Cardinals, but will be great experience to the younger generation of back to back tournament play. SVSU will be traveling to Grand Valley for the annual Battle of the Valley's match up. The following two weekends will consist of traveling to Miami of Ohio and Michigan State University for tournament play on consecuative weekends mid November.

               Keep it classy friends. Until next time...


                                                 April 2013

            The NCDA Nationals were held in Lexington, Kentucky at the University of Kentucky the weekend of April 12-14. On Saturday, your Cardinals started off the day bright and early with a 7:30am win over The Ohio State University. Depaul University was a game filled with some fun and another SVSU win for their second of the day. After a few hours of rest, Western Kentucky fell next on SVSU's victim list, handing SVSU their third and final win of the day.

           Aside from pool play, Saturday was also filled with some fun and entertainment for the fans as well. The second annual all girls game was held as well as the first annual alumni game. More than twenty alumni from around the league showed up to play against the current All-Stars, which leads me into my next point. Four of our SVSU Boys represented us alongside more than forty of the best players in the league.

          Sunday began the single elimination games. SVSU was set to face Northwestern State University of Louisiana (NSULA). SVSU easily took care of them with a convincing 5-0 win to advance them into the Elite Eight round. In the Elite Eight Round, the Cardinals were matched up against another team from Michigan, the Spartans of Michigan State.

           The Cardinals jumped ahead to take a 1-0 lead early in the first half over the Spartans. However, MSU did not let the point loss affect their game. They quickly rebuttaled and the score was tied 1-1 at half. The Spartans kept their winning momentum going into the second half and earned their second point against SVSU in just under sixteen minutes into the second half to go up on the Cardinals 2-1. Unfortunately, SVSU was unable to regain any momentum and suffered an upsetting 3-1 loss, thus ending their season.

            As hard as it is to sit here and write this post, it was even harder to watch the tears build up and fall down the faces of my beloved teammates. Some have dedicated part of their college careers, and one has even dedicated over half of a decade to this SVSU Dodgeball team and family. So much time and energy that seemed to just slip away without anything to show for it.

            However, I am going to beg to differ. The amazing group of seniors that I have had the honor and privilege to play side by side with definitely have something to show for their efforts. They have one National Championship, the first ever brought to home to Saginaw Valley, won on our own court, in front of our own friends, family, and the fans at death valley. These seniors have a legacy that they are leaving behind. A legacy that was part of this successful upbringing of this team. But most importantly in my book, these seniors are leaving with not only teammates, but a family.

            I have played on many teams in my days, but never have I been a part of one so incredibly special. One that I feel secure enough to call a family. One that I would literally bend over backwards for at the drop of a hat if need be, and who I feel would do the same for me. I think it would be a safe bet to say that no other team in the league has the bond the SVSU Dodgeball team shares, being able to call ourselves a family on and off the court.

            Again, to my beloved Seniors, thank you for taking me under your wings when I was just an itty bitty freshman, lost and searching for something to be a part of. This group of seniors have given me quite memorable experiences. A special thank you can go to Spencer for giving me a black eye my first game of dodgeball I ever played. But more than that, thank you to all of the other seniors for everything. Watching your passion erode from your bodies every time you stepped onto the court whether it was at practice or playing against Grand Valley Thank you for your blood, sweat, and tears, but most importantly, your dedication to this program. SVSU dodgeball simply won't be the same without you. I wish you the best of luck with everything you do in your futures and you better come back to visit!

                                                                     April 2013

Thank you to Sam Hiller from the Michigan State Dodgeball Club for writting the following season review for the Saginaw Valley Dodgeball Club.

The defending National Champions going into the season, SVSU went 15-7-3 before losing to Michigan State in the National Quarterfinals.The Cardinals were led by Max Siler in his first season as Captain, and they began their season at the OSU Round Robin, despite not having nearly their top roster at the tournament. SV opened up with Kent State, and lost a thriller 2-1 in OT. Next they fought a revenge seeking MSU squad, and were blanked 5-0. Finally they showed that they could still win with a weakened squad, picking up a 3-2 win over host school Ohio State. After the OSU Round Robin, the Cards went back to Ohio to go to the BGSU Invite. They lost to rival GVSU 4-1, but they did pick up Ws over BGSU (4-2) and Miami (no score reported). Their big break through win was in the Battle of the Valleys, as they defeated GVSU 2-1 at home.

In the second semester they opened up at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup, playing GVSU once again, but this time they lost 2-1 in OT. Then the Cards faced the Spartans, and held on to win 3-2 in OT, and then after dropping the first point to CMU, SVSU was able to win 4-1. Their showing at the MDC was good, but their showing at the BEAST II was even better, winning the tournament. They lost to WKU 3-2 in OT, but won games against Kent (3-0), JMU (2-1 in OT), Miami (4-1), and Towson (1-0). Saginaw also hosted their Senior Tournament, playing CMU (5-0 win) and BGSU (5-0 win).

SVSU was considered one of the favorites to win Nationals 2013, as the fourth ranked team entering the tournament, their strong season, and the fact that they won the tournament the previous season. They were placed in a pool with WKU, Ohio State, and DePaul, three interesting match ups for Saginaw. SVSU won a close game with OSU (4-2), then had to default their game against DePaul for exceeding the 20 man roster limit. Their last game on Saturday was a rematch with WKU, and the Cardinals crushed them, winning 6-1. Despite the default, SVSU remained the four seed as they played #13 Northwestern State in the first round. They won easily, 5-0, setting up a match with #5 MSU. SVSU jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but strong Spartan play derailed their Back to Back Titles hope, as Saginaw would lose 3-1.

Overall it was a strong season for SVSU, as they outperformed their expectations from their poor play at the beginning of the season and morphed into a top team by season’s end. Replacing Spencer Jardine will be tough, for both his play and leadership, but the Cardinals aren’t going anywhere."