Texas State University Bobcats – San Marcos vs. District of Columbia Quidditch Club

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.

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.