7 questions with the 2020 dodgeball champs
University of Dayton students battled it out on the dodgeball court Friday, Sept. 11, for a coveted prize — a 12-person suite for a men’s basketball game this season. Sponsored by UD Campus Recreation, the Glow Distant Dodgeball Tournament welcomed teams of six for COVID-safe fun and a little friendly competition.
We talked to some members of the winning women’s dodgeball team — senior Cara Daley and juniors Hannah Fredrickson, Megan McNelly, Jenna Rock, Nieka Deneve and Alexa Passafiume — about their victory and the exciting night enjoyed by their team, Can’t Dodge This.
Why did you sign up for the event?
Hannah: With COVID precautions on campus, I have not seen all of my friends together in forever. All of the girls formed a team and our guy friends formed their own team. It was awesome to be all together again and have fun!
Jenna: We also really wanted to win the box seats — we are all big UD basketball fans!
What safety guidelines were in place?
Hannah: The main thing was mask wearing and staying in separate 10-foot boxes. The referees were very strict about staying in our boxes, and I was reminded to pull my mask up when I took it off out excitement.
Can you describe the event?
Cara: I think there were about 15 women’s teams. We strategically placed our players where they were able to play to their strengths. Megan has a really powerful throw so she was in the back, and Nieka had good aim so she was up front. We would switch out our runners every game since it was such a tiring position.
Jenna: The energy at the event was great! Teams we didn’t even know were cheering us on, and it was a lot of fun to see everyone staying safe but still having fun and being social.
Nieka: It was so hype the entire time. We were all cheering for each other and dancing and talking to different teams. It was so much fun.
What were your strengths?
Megan: Going undefeated in the tournament was a true team effort. We all have individual strengths, but we would not have won if any one of our players were missing. Our true strengths were our teamwork and the way we supported each other throughout the night.
Cara: ENERGY!!! We all hyped each other up and the other teams throughout the night.
Hannah: We came in with the mindset that we were going to win it all. We refused to lose. As for strategy, we put [players with] stronger arms in the back, and smaller girls (with good aim) in the front.
Did you think you’d win it all?
Megan: When it was down to the championship round, I had no doubt in my mind that we were gonna win it all. We wanted those basketball suite tickets so bad, and I knew that if we made it that far, nothing was going to be able to stop us.
Jenna: We had not lost a match all night and had already beat the team we were playing the championship. At that point in the night, we still had great energy.
What are you looking forward to as a champs?
Megan: I’m looking forward to hanging out in the suite with the team and our friends! I’m sure we will spend the night reminiscing on our undefeated dodgeball tournament run … hopefully the basketball team will follow in our footsteps and have a great season this year!
What should the UD community know about the campus atmosphere right now?
Nieka: The tournament was a much-needed break from all the stresses in our community right now. It’s difficult to keep that community feel at UD while having to stay apart from each other, and this was a wonderful way to get that feeling back all while following guidelines.
Hannah: To start, I want to thank the UD RecPlex for putting together such a fun and safe event. Secondly, I want to thank all of the students who participated. The amount of teams that came to play was awesome. This shows how committed UD is to keeping students on campus as well as how cooperative students are in complying. The passion and love that Flyers have for UD is unmatched, and it definitely showed at the dodgeball tournament.