Last year, the first ever Spikeball™ College Nationals was held at Clemson University. This year the action is heading to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where 44 teams and 21 schools will be competing for the titles of top individual team and top club.
On Saturday, all 44 teams will compete in the individual tournament which is held like all other roundnet events. This bracket will give us the top individual teams in collegiate roundnet and also be used to seed for the club bracket on Sunday. The club bracket features squads of three teams that match-up with another club's three teams. The club that wins the majority of the matches moves on.
As this is the biggest college roundnet event of the season, it is only fitting that all of the top 5 teams will be attending.
The #1 team in collegiate roundnet is Spicy Rubi (Dan McPartland and Anthony Rentsch) of University of Massachusetts Amherst. McPartland is looking for a repeat championship as he took first last year with Mike White. Rubi cruised to a win at New England Sectionals, but had a less than stellar day at the San Diego Tour Stop. With peak play, this team is the favorite.
Not far behind is the #2 team Easily Dug (Andrew Card and Travis Core) of University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Easily Dug has dominated the Atlantic Coast Section for the past two seasons and placed second at 2017 College Nationals last spring. Core and Card also have experience on big roundnet stages with their first place finish at 2017 Southeast Regionals and fourth place finish at 2017 Nationals.
Spicy Rubi and Easily Dug faced off in the semifinals of 2017 Nationals and Rubi took the series in two games. Card was low on energy during the match, so a fresh team with off-season improvements may be able to reverse their fortune this time around.
Travis Core of Easily Dug winds up for a ball at 2017 College Nationals.
Two of Texas' top ballers combine to make the #3 team Coup d'Etat of University of Texas Dallas. Grayson Ayres of L.E.D. and Sam Konstanty of the Fire Extinguishers began teaming in 2018 and have taken first at both South Central Sectionals and the Lonestar Winter Tournament. Logan Cornelius, who balls with Coup d'Etat regularly, claims they are better than Ayres’ #10 ranked team L.E.D.. We will see this weekend.
Micah Zimmerman and Jesse Showalter of Rosedale Bible College make up the #4 team Schweppes. Schweppes is returning to play in 2018 after separating in 2017. The pair took first at Central Sectionals and placed t-5th earlier this month at the Atlanta Tour Stop. Schweppes is a strong pool play team which should help set them up for a favorable bracket. Showalter and Zimmerman combine to make a great defensive team, but a lack of strong serves may hurt their chances to push past some of the other top teams.
Rounding out the top 5 is Recrem (Gustavo Gonzales and Karry Nusbaum) of Mercer University. Gonzales placed third at 2017 College Nationals with fellow Mercer student Minh Bui. Recrem took first at Tropic South Sectionals and placed t-9th at the Atlanta Tour Stop. In Atlanta, little mistakes cost Recrem the match against The (717).A tightened skill set is needed this weekend. A big win over one of the top 4 will be necessary to find a podium spot.
Gustavo Gonzales of Recrem hits a ball at 2017 College Nationals
The Power Pools at College Nationals are filled with teams that placed top 2 at their respective Sectional Championship. These are the Power Pool teams:
- Spicy Rubi
- Easily Dug
- Last Resort
- MKE Infinite Energy
- Almost Ambidextrous
- Sola Fide
- Coup d’Etat
- as competitive as you wish you were
There are many other strong roundnet teams outside of the Power Pools. The biggest wildcard is Asbury White of Asbury University, which features Peter Jon Showalter of the #1 power ranked Cisek/Showalter. Showalter placed third at the Huntington Beach Tour Stop in February with fellow Asbury student Zach Webb. This time, Jonathan Waters will be joining Showalter. Showalter can take over games with his serving so this team cannot be counted out.
Along with Easily Dug, UTC is also bringing the #9 team in collegiate roundnet Arthecio (David Gonzales and Stephen Welch) who found a few podium finishes at College events last fall.
Traveling from the West coast is Whift Cream (Erik Schlick and Caleb Reed) who placed second in their fall sectional, but did not compete in the spring.
Matt Bohnen and Nick Daub of the Origin Roundnet Club will also be teaming up to represent William Rainey Harper College.
We asked the community who they think will place top 4 and top 8 in the individual bracket. Here are the results:
|as competitive as you wish you were||0||1||0||1||4|
|Touch and Go||0||1||0||0||3|
|Bald & Boujee||0||0||0||1||1|
|MKE Infinite Energy||0||0||0||1||1|
|Touch and Go||4|
As mentioned above, the individual tournament results will be used to seed Sunday's Club Tournament. These eight schools will be competing in the club tournament:
- Asbury University
- Grand Canyon University
- Mercer University
- The Ohio State University
- University of Georgia
- University of Tennessee Chattanooga
- University of Texas Dallas
- Western Kentucky University
The front-runner of this bracket is University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) as Easily Dug can compete with all other school's top teams and Arthecio should be able to handle all second tier teams. Helping the cause even more are UTC’s three other teams - Unlucky Dragons, I hardly know her, and Touch and Go.
David Gonzales of Arthecio serves at the Philadelphia Tour Stop in 2017.
There are many clubs that hope to compete with UTC. One club that is building strength in numbers is the University of Georgia (UGA). Bringing 9 teams to College Nationals, their top two teams are strong enough to compete with many other clubs.
Asbury University is another team to watch out for. Of course the squad is led by Peter Jon Showalter, but Zach Webb, another premier player, will play on their second team. The host school, Ohio State University, also has a chance to make it far with two solid teams in Check Please and Sola Fide. Grand Canyon University, who placed first at Southwest Sectionals last fall, are also bringing three teams.
We asked the community who they think will place top 4 in the club bracket. Here are the results:
|University of Tennesee Chattanooga||39||13||3||3||204|
|University of Georgia||10||11||11||10||105|
|The Ohio State University||0||7||9||12||51|
|University of Texas Dallas||0||4||4||8||28|
|Grand Canyon University||1||0||3||8||18|
|Western Kentucky University||0||0||1||2||4|
How to watch
Bracket matches from this event will be live-streamed on Facebook Live with a scoreboard and commentary. Here is how you can make sure to be notified when each match starts:
- Go here: https://www.facebook.com/spikeball/.
- Select the Follow/Following dropdown button.
- Select the little pencil next to Notifications (on mobile select Edit Notification Settings).
- Select "All Live Posts" under the Live Videos section.
Got something related to roundnet that you want to know more about? Have any topics you want to be discussed on the podcast? Contact Mike White at firstname.lastname@example.org or @mwhitey17 on Twitter.
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