by Andy Marmer | February 4th, 2013
Welcome to the first edition of “The Monday Snitch,” where we will summarize the weekend that was in the IQA.
This past weekend featured competition in four different regions, with three tournaments. Out west, Cal Quidditch (Berkeley, CA) hosted the Groundhog Hoedown on Saturday, February 2, prior to watching the local 49ers fall just short in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, LSU Quidditch (Baton Rouge, LA) welcomed nine other squads to the Bayou for the second annual Mardi Gras Cup. Finally, the University of Toledo (Toledo, OH) hosted the Glass City Quidditch Classic, which saw the first-ever televised tournament matches. In additional play, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Wilmington, NC) and Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) split a pair of contests in the Carolina Quidditch Conference.
Mardi Gras Cup
Recap: The big news out of the Southwest at the Mardi Gras Cup appears to be the relative ascendance of the University of Texas (Austin, TX). While always a top team, the No. 5 ranked squad dismantled the field over the weekend. In their three pool matchups, the team scored 140, 210, and 250 points, while allowing just two goals. After a forfeit victory in the quarterfinals, Texas eked out at a 70*-20 victory over Roadrunners Quidditch (San Antonio, TX) in the semifinals before crushing the hosts in the championship match, 150-40*. In five matches on the day, the team allowed just five goals, caught the only snitch when it mattered, and averaged 14.6 goals per match. While rival and top-ranked squad Texas A&M did not make the trip to Baton Rouge, the performance by Texas was an impressive one.
In the past, No. 22 LSU has been not only one of the top teams in the Southwest, but in the country; this season, however, has been disappointing. After falling by just 10 points in the quarterfinals of World Cup V, and in overtime in the quarterfinals of World Cup IV, they seem to have regressed to being the third-best team in their region (if not lower). In the fall, they lost to No. 25 Baylor University (Waco, TX), while at the Mardi Gras Cup, they fell in pool play 90*-50 to Austin Quidditch (Austin, TX), a community team affiliated with the University of Texas. While they were able to avenge their loss to Austin, they ultimately did themselves no favors with their earlier loss, and defeat in the championship match. Still, they should have no difficulties qualifying for the World Cup with Southwest Regionals looming in three weeks as the area’s next major tournament.
Fresh off a championship appearance at the Bottom of the Bracket, Roadrunners Quidditch turned in a workman-like performance, keeping all of their matches within snitch range before falling to Texas in the semifinals. The squad from the University of Texas at San Antonio gave the eventual champs their toughest test of the tournament.
Austin Quidditch performed very well, going undefeated in pool play before falling to LSU in the semifinals. Sam Houston State University (Huntsville, TX), after winning the Bottom of the Bracket last week qualified for the quarterfinals before running into LSU.
Winners: Texas, Austin, Roadrunners, Central Florida (Orlando, FL)—upset Roadrunners in overtime
Recap: The first major tournament of the New Year in the Midwest featured 14 teams converging on Toledo, OH. Although the tournament was played in Ohio, it was two teams from Michigan squaring off in the finals, as No. 28 Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) overcame No. 11 University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), 80*-50. The Spartans dropped just one match in the tournament, a 60*-30 loss to semifinalist Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), though their trip to the title was certainly exciting. In the quarterfinals, the Spartans edged Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) 70*^-60, while also requiring overtime to overcome Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH) 150^-120*.
Michigan reached the finals in a much less dramatic fashion, routinely beating Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, MI) in the quarterfinals and Purdue in the semifinals, both by identical 120*-30 scores.
The unofficial team from Ohio University (Athens, OH) nearly reached the semifinals, falling in the quarterfinals to Bowling Green State, 70^-40*. Of the five World Cup-bound teams in attendance, four reached the semifinals, with Ohio State being the lone squad that failed to advance.
Purdue’s loss to Michigan will go down as the only match between World Cup qualifying teams that did not come down to a snitch catch, while the Boilermakers also lost to Miami University (Oxford, OH), 70*-30. Also of note, Michigan overcame Ohio State 60*-40 during pool play.
Unlike at the Mardi Gras Cup, there does not appear to be any hierarchy in the teams that attended the Glass City Quidditch Classic. The looming question is how those squads will fare against higher-ranked foes in other regions, or even regional rivals such as No. 6 Kansas University (Lawrence, KS) and No. 13 Ball State University (Muncie, IN).
Winners: Michigan State—it wasn’t always pretty, but they got the job done, Ohio University
Losers: Ohio State—they kept their match with the eventual champions close, but it must sting a little to be the only World Cup team that failed to reach the semifinals.
Recap: The folks in Northern California seem to be taking advantage of their proximity to one another and their good weather, as they met again for the second time in 2013. Although there were games featuring squads from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) and the Silicon Valley Skrewts (Mountain View, CA), both teams made themselves unofficial, with the Skrewts sending two such squads. Therefore, there was only one official match, a 90-30* win for San Jose State University (San Jose, CA) over The Golden Snitches (Berkeley, CA)
Winners: Bay-area players who can play other teams every week with very little travel.
Losers: Fans of the 49ers.