Written By Sam Doughton
Texas State University Bobcats used an athletic chasing line and dominating snitch-on-pitch beating to triumph over District of Columbia Quidditch Club (DCQC) 160*-100 in the Sweet 16 of US Quidditch Cup 10.
In a matchup between the Southwest regional finalist and a Mid-Atlantic regional power, both teams put forth strong defensive efforts in the opening minutes, before Texas State struck with a drive and dish from keeper Craig Garrison to TJ Martinez for the game’s first goal. This started a five-goal run for the Bobcats, as Texas State got fast breaks off of beater play in their own half, forcing no bludger situations that allowed quaffle players Stephen Vigil, Craig Garrison, and Terencio Martinez to finish at the hoops.
With Texas State up 50-0, DCQC was not ready to quit. A long shot from keeper Erik Morlock while being contested got off just before the beat flew in. Morlock’s shot rimmed through the hoop for DCQC’s first goal of the game. Morlock scored again under a minute later, when he received a lob from the right side of the hoops and slammed it through to make it 50-20.
Texas State roared back with two more goals, one off a DCQC penalty, to make the score 70-20. Afterward, Texas State received a penalty, leading to a player-up opportunity for DCQC, which was executed by former Team USA chaser Bernardo Berges slunging the quaffle through the small hoop to score. Berges came down the field a possession later and scored again with the shot, this time through the middle hoop to make it 70-40.
Texas State had a player-up opportunity of its own about a minute before the seeker floor, with Tim Nguyen dunking to put Texas State just out of snitch range, but DCQC got a goal of its own with a push-through shot next to the hoops to put the game in range just seconds before the seekers were released to make the score 80-50.
With the snitch on pitch, Texas State’s beaters kept DCQC from getting up close to the snitch, either to catch or to defend from the Bobcat seeker. Both teams had multiple cards doled out during the time frame, but the game stayed tight throughout snitch play, with Texas State working through no bludger situations and DCQC picking up the pace to stay in range. The use of a four-male chasing line proved effective in keeping DCQC in the game down the stretch.
With the score at 130-100, Texas State seeker Steve Gralinksi pulled the snitch with a smooth diving move to secure the win for the Bobcats. Texas State will face Great Lakes regional champion Bowling Green State University Falcons in the Elite Eight. The Falcons knocked off three-time national champion Texas Quidditch in the Sweet 16.