Students left everything on the court, but two teams outlasted the competition to advance to the final round of the Seventh Annual $1,000 Dodgeball Tournament.
The two finalists, Not in the Face and Good Not Great, will compete against each other during the intermission period of the UMass Lowell women’s basketball game versus Bryant University on Club Sports Night Dec. 10 at Costello Athletic Center with a $1,000 grand prize on the line.
The two teams threw, caught and dodged their way into the championship game Wednesday night at the Campus Recreation Center, but members of both clubs said their roads to the final round of the 25-team double-elimination contest weren’t easy.
Each best-of-three series Not in the Face played in went the distance, including a win over Good Not Great in the final match of the winners’ bracket. Captain Kyle Doran said, however, that he was pleased that his team won each game when it mattered most.
“We didn’t have an easy go to the championship,” said Doran. “Every series had to go three games, but we did it, so I’m happy about it.”
Of the five teams Not in the Face defeated to earn a spot in the title game, including American Snow, Team Steve, Blue Ballers and River Stags, Taylor Breau said Good Not Great was the most challenging to beat.
“It was definitely the hardest [match],” he said. “Our team, we knew coming in that they were really good, so we had to adjust our game a little bit to play against them.”
Good Not Great downed Wavy Crockett in the final round of the losers’ bracket to set up a rematch against Not in the Face in the title game.
The win was the best of both worlds, according to team captain Christian Navarro, not only for setting up a rematch with the team that defeated them but for eliminating their intramural rival in the process.
“We’ve played [Wavy Crockett] in a lot of different sports,” he said. “We watched a lot of their games, saw how they played and adjusted to that.”
With the loss, however, Navarro’s team had to play an extra game to make the final round, and he said he noticed the extra play affect his partners.
“A lot of people were feeling the fatigue, I think,” Navarro said. “[There was] a lot of grinding, a lot of will power, but I think we’ll be rested for [the final round].”
For the rematch, Navarro says, his team has a strategy that will help them avenge their loss to Not in the Face.
“They’ve got some key players on their team I think we’re gonna go after to start the game,” said Navarro. “Once we get them out, I think we can do what we do best and get the win.”
Wavy Crockett narrowly missed a shot at the title match with their loss to Good Not Great in the losers’ final, finishing third in the tournament. Captain Brandon Rolli said he was proud of this team’s effort, despite falling just short of the final round.
“We did everything we could, we played all day, and they were just a better team, I guess,” said Rolli. “You can’t really do much about that.”
Of the 25 six-person teams to participate in the tournament, One and Done were one of the last four teams in contention. After an early loss to Team Mother, One and Done battled all the way to the semifinal game of the losers’ bracket, defeating the likes of Team Steve, Terror Squad and River Stags, before being eliminated by Wavy Crockett.
One member of One and Done, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was pleasantly surprised with how far his team advanced in the competition, even though they expected much less success.
“We named our team ‘One and Done,’ and we ended up going pretty far, so I’m happy with our overall performance,” he said.
He said the team “decided to play extremely conservative” by aiming their throws low and looking for two-on-one advantages after their first loss.
“We faced some hard matchups, and overall, we just, we pulled through,” he said. “That’s what we do.”