The second half of the Elite 8 round featured a matchup between Mizzou Quidditch and Rochester United. Both teams seemed well-matched, favoring similar styles of offense and defense. Mizzou and Rochester relied heavily on their beaters to clear lanes and create chaos for their ball carriers to skirt around. Both Mizzou’s and Rochester’s beaters were aggressive right out of the gate, maintaining their intensity late into the game. That being said, practically every beater in the game was guilty of making wild beats from midfield and attempting trick shots to knock balls out of other players’ hands. Otherwise, defense from both teams was scrappy at best, resulting in several collisions, scuffles over loose balls, and a rotating door on both penalty boxes.
Quaffle play vacillated between slow walk-ups and wild fast breaks. Mizzou keeper Jacob Parker scored Mizzou’s first goal shortly after brooms up, with Rochester United responding with a goal less than a minute later. Such was the pattern for the majority of the game. Almost like clockwork, both teams would meander up the field until one side finally scored, sending the other into a frenzy to match goals.
The game was tied 60-60 when seekers entered play. Shortly after, though, Parker received his second yellow card for illegal contact and was subsequently removed from the game. Parker’s exit stalled Mizzou’s momentum, allowing Rochester to put 20 more points up on the board. But, at just under 19 minutes, Dom Stelzer deftly caught the snitch to edge out a 90*-80 victory for Mizzou.
In a matchup defined by scrappy beater play and repeated stoppages of play, Florida’s Finest rode the strong play of its veterans to a 100 -90* victory over the University of Rochester.
Rochester moved out to a quick 30-10 lead on the back of keeper Basem Ashkar before the teams settled into a default mode of sustained, controlled offensive possessions. Rochester’s double-male beater set pressured Florida’s Finest heavily on both sides of the pitch, limiting opportunities for Florida’s Finest to take advantage of its transition attack and endurance. While Finest was limited in scoring due to the dominance of Rochester’s beaters, Rochester lost several opportunities to score from dropped passes and mental errors.
The game turned a corner during snitch on pitch, with both sides throwing all of their energy into stopping the opposing seeker. Florida’s Finest found an offensive rhythm close to snitch on pitch, rounding off three straight goals by taking advantage of mistakes from a tiring Rochester squad and strong offensive possessioning. A red card on Rochester beater Perry Wang ultimately swung the game in favor of Finest, but beater Steven Belitzky managed to hold off the experienced Florida’s Finest lineup of curtis Taylor and Sean Pagaoda and bring Rochester back within snitch range. With Finest scoring soon after to bring the score to 10-6, Rochester seeker Sean Benjamin misread the score and pulled the snitch, ultimately costing Rochester the game as the pull couldn’t make up the quaffle score deficit.
With an early victory under their belt, Florida’s Finest moved on to play Rochester United in the Sweet Sixteen matchup at 11:40.
Q.C. Boston defeated Rochester United 140-130* (OT) to take home the title of national champion in Columbia, South Carolina.
Q.C. Boston and Rochester United went into overtime after the Rochester United seeker Cody Keefer caught the snitch at 20:15, tieing the game at 90-90. With 30 seconds left on the clock in overtime, Q.C. Boston keeper (and U.S. National team member) Jayke Archibald scored, bringing the game to 140-130 and crowning Q.C. Boston the first new U.S. national champion in four years. The game was a re-match of the Northeast Regional Championship final from November 2015.
The snitch for the championship match was Anatoly Gunning, who was also presented with the “Most Fly Snitch Award” at the closing ceremonies. Head referee was USQ 2015-16 Referee of the Year Erin Mallory.
Q.C. Boston finished the tournament 9-0, winning their first national championship. The win marks the first time a regional champion has won the national title.
US Quidditch is excited to announce the winners of the Team Awards. Thank you to all who voted!
60 teams participated in US Quidditch Cup 9. The full score sheet from the tournament can be found here. A list of media coverage is available here. To view photos taken at the event, click here. Video footage from the livestream on pitch 1 will be available to view later this week.
Do you have any feedback about the event? The general event survey is available here, and more detailed feedback forms will be sent out soon. Referee evaluations may be submitted by coaches, players, other referees, spectators, or event staff. Please use this form to submit a review for any referee (including head referees, assistant referees, or snitch referees). Please use this form to submit a snitch evaluation. If you have any other feedback or more lengthy thoughts after the event, we encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m proud of all the teams who competed this weekend to show how incredible our sport is. The passion and athleticism on display at the event demonstrated to spectators old and new why quidditch is so engaging and amazing. I also want to thank all of our officials, volunteers, and staff for working tirelessly to make the event a success. I can’t wait to see some of these same teams competing next year at US Quidditch Cup 10” says Sarah Woolsey, USQ Interim Executive Director and Events Director.
US Quidditch wishes to congratulate Q. C. Boston 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 and hard work help to make the event possible. Special thanks to the Columbia Regional Sports Council, Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission, and Lexington County for their support of USQ and US Quidditch Cup 9. For more information on quidditch and how you can start a team, click here.