Texas Cavalry wins US Quidditch Cup 10

Photo by Isabella Gong

Texas Cavalry went undefeated on day one of US Quidditch Cup 10. They were the second seed coming out of pool play, and beat Mizzou Quidditch in the semi-finals on day two, 120*-50, to advance to the championship match. Texas Cavalry ultimately defeated the number four ranked team Texas State University – San Marcos 80*-60 in a game that lasted 30 minutes and 30 seconds.

The snitch for the championship match was Gabe Garcez, who was also presented with the “Most Fly Snitch Award” at the closing ceremonies. Head referee was USQ 2016-17 Referee of the Year Alex Amodol.

Read the full game recap here.

Sixty teams participated in the national championship, which took place at Austin-Tindall Regional Park in Kissimmee, Florida on April 8-9, 2017. The full score sheet and rankings from day one can be found here. The full score sheet for day two can be found here. To view photos taken at the event, click here. Video footage from the livestream on fields 1 and 2 will be available to view later this month.

The recipients of the team awards were:

Best Uniform: BosNYan Bearsharks

Best Chant: Gulf Coast Gumbeaux

Xander Manshel Sportsmanship Award: Lone Star Quidditch Club

Do you have any feedback about the event? Please fill out our event survey here! If you fill out the survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win free USQ merch. Please note that you must fill out the survey by Sunday, April 23 to be eligible to win. Ten winners will be selected on Monday, April 24.

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US Quidditch wishes to congratulate Texas Cavalry 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 Experience Kissimmee for their support of US Quidditch Cup 10.

BosNYan Bearsharks vs. Quidditch Club Boston

Written by Cameron VomBaur

The BosNYan Bearsharks’ incredible US Quidditch Cup 10 run continued with a 100*-70 win over local rival Quidditch Club Boston in the quarterfinals. After an out-of-range victory over Lone Star Quidditch Club in the previous round, the Bearsharks are making their presence known as a competitive force despite being a “fun-first” team.

With five former QC Boston players on the Bearsharks’ roster and plenty of other Northeast veterans, there was a high degree of familiarity between the two community squads. However, after two out-of-range wins for Boston in the fall, it seemed clear that QC Boston and Rochester United were the true contenders among the Northeast. On the biggest stage, though, it was BosNYan that advanced to the semifinals.

Just as during its Lone Star match, BosNYan began the game with an explosive run, bursting to a 30-0 lead at the hands of Tyler Trudeau’s thunderous top-hoop slams and dominant beater play. But unlike Lone Star, QC Boston found its groove, taking back a two-goal lead at one point through a plethora of offensive weapons, including Stew Driflot, Jayke Archibald, and Harry Greenhouse. Max Havlin began to take the game over from former championship beating partner Kyle Jeon, and for a brief moment, it looked as though BosNYan might not have enough gas left in the tank to hold on to a winnable game. However, a few successful offensive possessions, featuring clean passing around the hoops, gave the Bearsharks a 70-70 game at the close of the seeker floor.

The quaffle game slowed down tremendously after the 18th minute, with neither side willing to risk trading blows and letting the game get out of range. During the match, there were perhaps only two or three offensive possessions per side, with none of them holding real threats of scoring. Effectively, the teams agreed to a three-on-three game with their beaters and seekers to determine the winner.

With the snitch on pitch, QC Boston quickly began to own the game, with Havlin’s expertise on full display. Highly accomplished seekers Driflot and Greenhouse got extended periods of time alone with the snitch, unhindered by beats or defensive seekers, but were unable to make the grab.

After a lengthy delay for the snitch to be replaced, the Bearsharks took control of the snitch game. Now, it was David Fox who had time alone with the snitch, and he didn’t let the game slip away. With a dramatic diving catch to propel BosNYan into the semifinals with a 100*-70 win.

BosNYan Bearsharks vs. Lone Star Quidditch Club

Photo by Nikki Smith

Written by Cameron VomBaur

In a thrilling Sweet Sixteen matchup, BosNYan Bearsharks took a stunning 160*-80 upset win over Lone Star Quidditch Club, tabbed by many to be among the true contenders to capture the championship at US Quidditch Cup 10. The match featured many of the players involved in last year’s Lone Star/Quidditch Club Boston semifinal at US Quidditch Cup 9, with five former Boston players now playing for the first-year Bearsharks.

Photo by Nikki Smith
Photo by Nikki Smith

BosNYan imposed its will from the start of the game, with two dunks from Tyler Trudeau and two more goals from David Fox and Julia Baer. The Bearsharks sprinted to a 40-0 lead before a Luke Langlinais fast break brought the score to 40-10 at the six-minute mark. The gap would never be wider than four goals or closer than two until the snitch came onto the pitch.

Lone Star struggled greatly with obtaining and keeping bludger control. Leeanne Dillmann especially, with partners Kyle Jeon and Leslie Hargett, held control very well against the Lone Star’s much-heralded aggressive beaters. This was especially impressive given how often they pressed forward to beat out opposition to clear lanes for a series of powerful drives from BosNYan’s ball carriers.

Trudeau put on a clinic, scoring seven of the Bearsharks’ 13 goals, and assisting on two more. He was practically unstoppable once he reached the keeper, powering through double-teams from Lone Star’s usually-stingy chaser defense. Zack Gindes also managed a handful of goals, including two from broken plays cleaned up by his quick hands and hustle.

For Lone Star, goals were sourced fairly diversely. Mathieu Gregoire paced his team with three goals, but Lone Star’s famously deep quaffle player rotation did excellently in spreading the ball around. Unfortunately for them, the Bearsharks’ cerebral bludger play, Trudeau’s length at the hoops, and Fox’s crushing tackles at the top of the offense led to many possessions coming up empty.

Once the snitch came onto the pitch, chaos broke out. Lone Star was finally able to start consistently gaining bludger control with the Team USA tandem of Tyler Walker and Michael Duquette, and while they didn’t totally take control of the game, they were able to consistently create opportunities for seeker Blake Fitzgerald to secure the win. However, once again, BosNYan’s beaters came to their rescue.

While Lone Star focused heavily on seeker play to prevent a Bearsharks catch, BosNYan’s beaters excelled at owning the seeker game while also making defensive stops to push the gap further and further. Eventually, after a Fox goal to bring the score to 110-70, seeker Jonathan Ruland for Lone Star caught the snitch, which would have spelled a heart-wrenching 110-100* loss, had it not been for an impending call that invalidated the disastrous catch.

Photo by Nikki Smith
Photo by Nikki Smith

Given another chance to pull the game back in range, Langlinais scored on a blazing fast break, 110-80. However, BosNYan’s beaters chipped in to the quaffle game for two more Gindes goals to push the game to a five-goal difference, the first gap of such size all match. Soon thereafter, Jeon subbed in at seeker and made a standing catch in seconds to end the game before Lone Star could make another attempt to bring it back into range, 160*-80.

US Quidditch Cup 10: The Road to the Final Four

Photo by Nikki Smith

Written by Kevin Oelze

With pool play finished, and the bracket finalized, we can really start looking at the roads that different teams are going to have to reach the US Quidditch Cup 10. Let’s take a look at each of the top four seeds after Day 1 – Lone Star Quidditch Club, Texas Cavalry, Mizzou Quidditch, and Texas State Quidditch – and see what they’ll have to face on their potential routes to the US Quidditch Cup 10 Final Four.

A-Lone Star At The Top

Lone Star pretty much marched through the day, the only team to cap point differential in every game they played. As a reward, Lone Star received a brutal bracket full of high potential. While they should have no problem with either a UTSA or Lake Erie Elite, those both feel like nastier draws than you might expect for the 32nd seed. The path starts getting really arduous once they they reach the Sweet Sixteen, where they will face the winner of the University of Maryland and the BosNYan Bearsharks match.  These two potential opponents both had disappointing pool play results, but will likely go into Day 2 poised to potentially upset Lone Star. BosNYan, though they dropped a game to Cal, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Leanne Dillman for the second day. Maryland looks to get on track with a deep, talented squad that took an upset from a Mario Nasta-led RPI team.

Of course, the true test waits in the quarterfinals, where whichever team survives gets to face either the Lost Boys or – more likely- the defending champions QC Boston. QC Boston lagged a bit in their Kansas matchup on Day 1 but still easily won their pool.  With their tournament life on the line so early in bracket, Lone Star will need to overcome this exceedingly difficult barrier to reach the Final Four.

The Cavalry Arrives

Texas Cavalry began Day 1 in the Pool 11 “Pool of Death,” and marched out of it triumphantly, capping their point differential in every game except one and taking the second seed into the bracket. The bracket draw was much kinder to Cavalry than Lone Star. Cavalry should easily be able to handle the winner of the play-in round between Crimson Elite and Central Michigan in the Round of 32 game. They will then face either the West champion Arizona State University or University of Kansas. Cavalry should be able to match up well with Arizona State’s physical style, but Kansas could be a potentially troubling matchup. Kansas is well known for being able to play teams that look unstoppable in snitch range. It remains to be seen if they can produce a similar matchup out of their hat.

Assuming Cavalry can handle their Sweet 16 game, they’ll likely face either RPI or the Los Angeles Gambits  in the quarterfinals. While the idea of the Gulf Coast Gumbeaux upsetting the Gambits isn’t unbelievable, they seem to be less of a threat to Cavalry than either of the other teams. The Gambits struggled about as much as you can imagine for a team that won their pool and went undefeated, but they still remain a team with some supremely talented pieces and potentially terrifying seeking. If they can turn the quaffle play into the Tony Rodriguez show, the dual seeker threat of Margo Aleman and Eric Dreggors is going to ensure Cavalry wants to put itself well out of range before snitch play. First, though, the Gambits have to overcome an RPI team that’s already defeated Maryland and won an extremely tough Pool 10. Mario Nasta will attempt to impose his will on that Sweet 16 matchup, while also hoping the Gambits aren’t prepared for the RPI triangle offense or the deadly combination of Teddy Costa and Sam Nielsen. Cavalry seems a safe bet to advance to the quarterfinals, but there are multiple interesting matchups possible which might be able to stop them from reaching the Final Four.

Mizzou-ry Loves Company

Mizzou’s standout season continued with an absolutely dominating display in its pool play games. David Becker continues his breakout year, with his hyper-aggressive beating style helping to position Missouri in the easiest corner of the  bracket. A potential first round matchup with Michigan looms as a bit frightening, but nothing suggests that the Tigers can’t handle that matchup. They’ll move on to play the winner of Texas A&M and the Warriors. Both teams are very strong, but Missouri looked like arguably the class of the tournament outside of the Southwest in pool play, and will be heavily favored to advance over either team. Missouri has been using strong, hyper-aggressive beating to open lanes and allow Jacob Parker to pass off to their female chasers for easy goals. This drive-and-dish offense looked unstoppable in pool play against some lesser competition. They’ll likely have to expand their offensive repertoire as they move deeper into bracket play.

In the bottom half of this bracket, Rochester United looks to have a relatively safe path to the quarterfinals. Florida’s Finest might be the most athletic team in the tournament, but they have struggled most against smart play, and the veteran RU squad looks poised to make another deep run, though their first round opponent in Rutgers could pose an interesting matchup as well. However, the featured matchup that we could see here is an excellent clash of styles in Mizzou and Rochester United. One of these teams looks like a strong favorite to advance to a potential matchup with Texas Cavalry.

Texas State-ment

Texas State’s marvelous spring semester continued into US Quidditch Cup 10. They look poised for a relatively easy first round match against either UCLA or the Silicon Valley Skrewts based on the results of the play-in round. From there, they move onto a date with either DCQC or Penn State. DCQC is the more likely foe after having arguably the most impressive run of any team in their pool (even if the Lost Boys won the pool). However, I can’t imagine either of these teams giving Texas State much of a scare, which could set up an extremely exciting World Cup VII finals rematch between Texas State and Texas in the quarterfinal round. However, a strong  Bowling Green State University team which won an extremely deep pool over BosNYan and UC Berkeley could definitely provide a closer matchup for Texas than they did in the Final Four of World Cup VI four years ago. Bowling Green could easily overtake Ball State and become a roadblock on Texas’s path to the finals.. Still, if Texas can hold off the Falcons, a replay of the World Cup VII finals looms.