History made with win at Kentucky Invitational
January 24, 2011 —
Even without nine of its varsity members, the Cardinals swept the Kentucky Invitational for its first tournament win in team history.
Dodgeball team founder Bryan Janick didn’t realize the feat until the team was driving home.
“We were all talking about it on the way back to Michigan,” Janick said. “We have so many second and third place finishes but it was exciting to get our first win.”
The Cardinals defeated DePaul University 8-1, Ohio State 6-0 and the University of Kentucky 6-0 in the finals.
With the win over Ohio State, SVSU avenged its loss to the Buckeyes in the 2010 national tournament.
“It felt so good for everyone on the team,” Janick said of the win over Ohio State. “They are one of the teams that we always have a close game with and it was awesome to shut them out. We just demolished them.”
SVSU was without some of its top performers, many who had conflicting work schedules. In light of the losses, the Cardinals had a chance to show off their depth.
Seniors Jason Stein and Jimmy Curtis had “outstanding performances,” according to Janick, as did freshman Kyle Foster and junior Mike Soulliere. Janick was impressed with the way the entire team came together.
“Every single player played phenomenal and we played the best as a team that we ever have,” Janick said. “We have really solid A and B teams and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Along with the Cardinals first victory over rival Grand Valley State earlier in the season, Janick thinks the Cardinals have made the transition from being one of the nation’s best teams to the favorite for winning the national championship.
“We definitely have the talent to win the national championship this year,” he said. “We just need to keep practicing and improving.”
With a 6-1 record, the Cardinals now turn their attention to the Michigan Dodgeball Cup scheduled for Feb. 12 at Michigan State University and the national tournament scheduled for Apr. 9-10 at Western Kentucky University.
“We might schedule a few more games here or there but we won’t have any other tournaments,” Janick said. “Our main focus will be on the last two tournaments of the season.”
After SVSU, Ohio State finished the tournament with a 2-1 record and was followed by: University of Kentucky (1-1), Western Kentucky University (1-1), Eastern Michigan University (1-1), Kent University (1-2) and DePaul (0-3).