Bowling Green State University v University of Texas

Written by Matt Dwyer

This afternoon spectators found an exciting matchup between the Great Lakes Regional Champion Bowling Green State University, and three-time national champion University of Texas. The teams have only met once prior: a Final Four matchup at World Cup VI, coincidentally also in Kissimmee. Bowling Green was coming off a gauntlet of difficult games, exhausted. Texas had an easier path, and was able to dispatch the Falcons easily en route to winning its first title.

The lead up to today’s game was much different than it was four years ago. Both teams did very well on Day 1, and were seeded high enough to not have exceedingly difficult matchups to reach the Sweet 16. With sun high overhead and a clear sky, the rematch was set.

Bowling Green came out firing immediately and pushed the pace against Texas’s defense. Beater Max McAdoo ran wild around the pitch, clearing lanes for the Falcon’s chasing core to drive and score.  Bowling Green put Texas back on its heels, and took an early 30-0 lead in this fashion. The Longhorns, however, were not going to move over so easily. Showing some superior speed and athleticism, Texas chasers were able to dodge beats and drive through defenders to score or pass to a teammate. Though this play worked occasionally, Bowling Green’s physical tacklers and tight man coverage often took away chances for drives and passes.

Bowling Green continued its up tempo play into the middle of the game, constantly pressing Texas into its own keeper zone and attempting to force turnovers. Texas was prepared for the press however, and used open space to spread the Bowling Green beaters, making it difficult to actually force the turnover.  Unfortunately running the press was tiring in the hot Floridian sun, and McAdoo needed to substitute.  Like a switch, Texas beater Eddie Molina regained bludger control and dominated beater play. Texas began to play its beaters very aggressively, creating easy lanes for its keeper and chasers to drive.  However, Bowling Green keeper Daniel Daugherty still pushed the pace, avoiding beaters to find open chasers behind the hoops or take a long shot.

Though Texas was controlling the beater game more and was getting three times the number of offensive rebounds, it was still difficult for its offense to score. Many shots sailed wide or were picked off by the Falcons. With a more solid beating defense though, the Longhorns were able to consistently stay within snitch range throughout the match. Once snitch was on pitch, Texas, down 30, completely locked down the snitch. Using both a defensive seeker and Molina at beater, Bowling Green’s seeker Sam Roitblat was not able to get near the snitch. Focusing on the quaffle game instead, Bowling Green continued to keep the Longhorns at the edge of snitch range, shutting down effective passing at the hoops with beater help.

Oftentimes, a snitch catch happens in a split second decision; one wrong step, one late dive. In this case, it was one missed beat. Molina’s defense of the snitch ended as he missed a crucial beat on Roitblat, allowing him a chance at the snitch. On a dive, Roitblat catches, the Falcons up 30. Bowling Green wins the match 110*-50, and moves on to their third Elite Eight appearance in the team’s history.

Ball State Cardinals vs. Bowling Green State University

Written by Kelsey Petersen

Bracket play started off strong on Day 2 with a rematch of this season’s Great Lakes Regional Championship between #21 Ball State University and #12 Bowling Green State University (BGSU). At this point, fans and players familiar with the Great Lakes region shouldn’t be surprised to see this matchup. Ball State and BGSU are well-established powerhouses in their region and both teams finished Day 1 strong with 3-1 records.

Going into the game, BGSU already had an advantage over Ball State in terms of size, reputation, and veteran experience. Both beater corps are strong, but while BGSU has refined its beating game, Ball State’s beaters seem to lack its spark without Tyler Walker.

The game proved to be a battle of pacing, BGSU favoring its usual slow approach, while Ball State relied on its speed. After several goal attempts and trading possessions frequently, Bowling Green scored its first goal over seven and a half minutes in. BGSU then continued to rack up points while keeping Ball State at zero. Ball State’s chasers were in sync, utilizing good passing options on most plays. But time and time again, they were unable to muscle past BGSU’s brute defense to secure a finish at the hoops. On the other half of the pitch, Ball State keeper Nick Kaufman proved adept at deflecting Daugherty’s floating passes.

Ball State made it onto the board around the seventeen minute mark, and found more success when seekers entered play. Ball State started to match goal-for-goal against BGSU, its seeker Jason Bowling effortlessly slipping between protecting and attacking the snitch as the game continually floated in and out of snitch range for Ball State. Both teams sent their beaters into overdrive against the seekers, evidenced by the increased frequency of bludgers flying wildly out of the pitch boundaries. It was clear that Ball State took advantage of BG’s distracted beaters to find scoring opportunities. However, BGSU soon began to pull away and Samuel Roitblat clinched its victory with a snitch grab at 25 minutes for a final score of 120*-50.

With this victory under its belt, Bowling Green stands to face Texas in the next round.

Bowling Green State University vs. Virginia Quidditch Club

Written by Mike Pascutoi

Led by perennial stars, Dan Daugherty and Zach Conkle, the ascending Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Falcons fought through a tough Virginia Quidditch Club (UVA) defense to ultimately win 130*-50.

Bowling Green entered US Quidditch Cup 10 as a top college team, but travel woes limited the Falcons in their first match of the day. UVA, a team known for tough defense and for upsetting higher-ranked opponents, seemed poised to capitalize on BGSU’s errors, keeping the score close before the seeker floor. A battle of clearly clashing play styles developed, with UVA’s crisp passing and pitch control slowing the game down but giving the team plenty of opportunities against an inconsistent BGSU chaser defense. BGSU, in contrast, used its well-renowned drive-and-dish offense to shorten the field for mid-range scores from Daugherty and aggressive drives from Conkle. With the score standing at 70-40 as the snitch walked onto the pitch,  BGSU’s beater superiority became more acute, with Max McAdoo taking over the pitch on offense, defense, and snitch play. With more fast break opportunities developing for BGSU as the game entered its 20th minute, seeker Sam “Sunshine” Roitblat sealed the game for BGSU with a quick snitch catch.

UVA will need to beat Northeastern powerhouse BosNYan Bearsharks to keep its hopes of bracket play alive. BGSU marches onward with a 2-0 record, as one of the few teams with a clear shot at a top seed.

Bowling Green State University wins Great Lakes Regional Championship

Photo by Jessica Jiamin Lang Photography. Bowling Green State University defeated the Ball State Cardinals 170*-90 to take home their first Great Lakes Regional Championship title in Dayton, Ohio.

Bowling Green went undefeated on day one and was the top seed coming out of pool play. They beat Ohio State Quidditch in the semi-finals, 90*-50, securing their spot in the championship match on Sunday afternoon. Bowling Green defeated Ball State in an exhilarating final match that featured intense seeker vs snitch play. The final score was 170*-90, with a snitch grab by seeker and former Team USA player (2014) Sam Roitblat. Head referee Michael Clark-Polner oversaw the final match, with support from lead assistant referee Dylan Meyer. The snitch runner was the 2016-17’s season “Most Fly Snitch” award recipient Anatoly Gunnin.

On Sunday, several young people were introduced to the sport of quidditch. USQ would like to thank the Bowling Green and Ohio State teams for their assistance in teaching youth quidditch. Both teams participated in games and served as snitch runners and scorekeepers.

17 teams participated in the regional championship. The final standings will be available later this week. Teams in bold are US Quidditch Cup 10 qualifiers. They will be among the 60 teams nationally that have received a spot to compete for the tenth national championship in Kissimmee, Florida over April 8 and 9, 2017.

Ball State Cardinals
Bowling Green State University
Carnegie Mellon Quidditch Club
Central Michigan Quidditch Club
Eastern Michigan Quidditch
Falcon Warriors Quidditch Club
Grand Valley Quidditch
Indiana University Quidditch Club
Lake Erie Elite
Miami University (OH) Quidditch
Michigan Quidditch Team
Michigan State Quidditch
Ohio State Quidditch
Ohio University Quidditch Club
Quidditch Club of Pittsburgh
Toledo Quidditch
University of Dayton Quidditch
Wooster Scottish Nationals

The full score sheet from the tournament can be found here.

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US Quidditch wishes to congratulate Bowling Green State University and all qualifying and competing teams who raised funds, traveled to the event, and played tough and exciting games. USQ is especially grateful to its staff, volunteers, referees, and snitches who helped plan and put on the event. Their contributions help to make the event possible. Special thanks to the Dayton Conventions & Visitors Bureau and Dayton Children’s Hospital for their support of Great Lakes Regional Championship.