Monday, April 14, 2014

Worlds Away From Kissimmee: Introduction and the University of Texas

Introduction
World Cup VI was perfect. We understood the results. The best team won. The second best team placed second. The winners decisively beat all nine of their opponents, blazing a trail of dominant blowouts through pool play and bracket play. We got an amazing finals match between the two best teams--a match that I would show to anyone who asked me about quidditch for the next year. The World Cup's signature Cinderella team upset several highly ranked teams, igniting a frenzy of regional pride before falling to the eventual champion. The most memorable match, Lost Boys versus BGSU, was a match that even the losing team could remember positively. The crowd was active in all three Final Four games, providing energy for the teams to keep sprinting through the hot Kissimmee air and forming tunnels to congratulate the players at the end.

World Cup VI was a feel good story all around and it made sense. Although in sports, there are always winners and losers, the losers at World Cup VI either embraced their accomplishments and accepted defeat or used their elimination as motivation for World Cup VII.

A whole year passed. Summer fantasy season. An interesting fall season. Several regional championships. Winter fantasy season. The spring season highlighted by Diamond Cup. A quiet March. And suddenly, we're all in the strange town of North Myrtle Beach. Suddenly, Texas is crowned back-to-back champions.

World Cup VII was weird. The results toyed with my emotions and opinions, and I've been fighting to keep that from clouding my judgement. With physicality playing a bigger part than ever, teams that appeared to play more physically were cast as villains. Teams that played an easier pool play or bracket play schedule were cast as villians. The Southwest, the first region to contain both World Cup finalists since the Northeast at World Cup IV, was cast as a villain.

Emotionally, I've never had so many ties to so many different teams. The number of people that came up to me and told me that they loved my blog was truly humbling. I worked closely with an incredible staff of writers, who sacrificed their time and energy at World Cup to advance the coverage of our sport and paint the IQA World Cup VII website with fantastic game recaps. I wanted to see so many different people succeed in North Myrtle Beach. Having joined Facebook as "Jack ThePhan" after World Cup VI, I had never followed a team's journey throughout the entire season before. I had never read lengthy, emotional, post-tournament statuses before. I had never been exposed to players' World Cup expectations and their intense training regiments before. Watching heart-breaking snitch catches and one-sided defeats, I could almost hear the disappointed post-World Cup VII statuses in my head.

In terms of my opinions on teams, I've never gone into a World Cup with so much knowledge on the competing teams before. I've poured over countless hours of video, especially of elite teams, and attempted to analyze so much. Going into World Cup VII, I felt that I had a strong grasp on the abilities of contending teams. I thought I had it all figured out. 

My pre-tournament confidence was quickly shattered, timeslot after timeslot. I was repeatedly shocked by results, especially once bracket play started. As bracket play progressed, the lists of surviving teams grew smaller and deviated further away from my pre-World Cup bracket. However, I realized that very few teams had surprised me with flashy new strategies or freakishly athletic pickups. That's what made World Cup VII so confusing. So weird. Teams played like I thought they would, but produced results that nobody predicted. World Cup VII made me think "but how??" and "why this time??" and "what changed??" After controlling my emotion and examining the matchups, as well as injuries and other variables, World Cup VII can make perfect sense. And that's what I hope to do.

The first installment of my Worlds Away From Kissimmee series is below on the back-to-back champions, the University of Texas.

University of Texas Finish: 1st
The champions. The back-to-back champions. Weird to say, huh?

Almost immediately after Margo Aleman pulled the snitch for Texas to take their second championship in a row, I went into a state of denial. How could a team that I had essentially counted out of the race for the World Cup title have won? I denied that Texas had rightfully earned its championship. I didn't believe that Texas was the best team. 

Messing With Our Hearts
Leaving Kissimmee, the consensus of the quidditch community was that UT's 21 players at World Cup VI were the best roster ever assembled. It was a great feeling to have a team that we, as the quidditch community, could hold up on a pedestal. Texas was the clear, rightful winner and the perfect team to end Middlebury's dynasty. We celebrated their victory like we all bled burnt orange and marveled when the UT tower was lit in honor of their championship. With a growing sport, the community expected that the champion of World Cup VII would earn the same invincible aura in our hearts and our minds. The 2013-14 Texas squad did not. 

It's undeniable that emotion played a big part in why UT's victory at World Cup VII has not been as universally celebrated as their World Cup VI title.

As the weekend progressed, Texas was cast as the "bad guys" by spectators and players alike. UT showed off a highly physical, no-nonsense style of play (in the chaser game and the beater game) that was very effective. From what I can tell, at the beginning of the season, Texas brought in a horde of fearless, motivated players. Seeing the dedication of their newest recruiting class and knowing it would lead to success, UT's captains probably encouraged their new players to use lots of physicality.  
Photo by Monica Wheeler
However, when UT's first-year players debuted outside the Southwest, a region where high doses of physicality is the norm, spectators and players questioned the legality and rulebook-knowledge of the new faces playing for Texas Quidditch. While some of the criticism was definitely warranted, some of it was unwarranted. In quidditch now, spectators and players interpret lots of physicality, yellow cards and fouls as indisputable evidence that a certain team plays dirty. Dirty seemed to be the label Texas obtained due to a mixture of some illegal plays, but more so a bad reaction from non-Southwesterners to UT's first-year players. 

The bad reaction to Texas' physicality reached new heights during UT's semifinal against A&M. The two Texas schools, separated by only 100 miles, traded blows early in the game, living up to the game's high expectations with the entire quidditch world watching. UT played physically and A&M passed terrifically. The game had all the makings of a classic until Texas A&M captain Drew Wasikowski went down. In obvious pain, Wasikowski needed assistance to get off the field, all but guaranteeing that he wouldn't return.

At that point, the game was never going to be the same. The void left by Texas A&M's captain and star player could only be filled by giant asterisk placed next to the eventual result. After Wasikowski's injury, the quality of the game and how we will remember it went downhill at a feverish pace. Both teams began to play completely out of control and it resulted in serious injuries, high tensions from the benches, desperate play from both teams and a feeling of unease around the stadium.
Photo by Kat Ignatova
First, UT chaser Cody Tadlock suffered a violent fall and needed to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Tadlock's "hook 'em horns" sign provided some degree of comfort to the worried crowd, but that comfort was quickly torn apart when A&M beater Rachel Harrison went down injured only minutes later. Harrison also had to be taken off the field on a stretcher but was not able to give the crowd a sign. 

Between seeing players on both teams visibly upset and watching two ambulances leave North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, I could sense a bad taste in the mouth of the crowd. The back-to-back injuries and lengthy delays allowed the crowd ample time to form opinions on UT and A&M, but more so on the state of injuries and physicality in the sport of quidditch. 

#HookedtheOpportunites
Watching Texas in North Myrtle Beach, I saw the same glaring weaknesses that I had thought would eventually doom the team. I denied UT's championship because I couldn't believe that Texas had won the World Cup VII title despite the weaknesses. 
Photo by Ben Holland
For one, Texas' passing game was significantly worse than the aerial attacks of the 2012-13 Texas and UCLA teams and the 2013-14 Texas A&M and Lost Boys teams. Only a select few of Texas' players were able to execute an efficient passing game, while the remaining players resorted to bone-crunching, ground-shaking solo drives. Secondly, while the unit definitely improved from the beginning of the season, I didn't see domination from Texas' beaters. I didn't see a complete mastery of beating strategy or smart, calculating play like we saw from Jacob Adlis, Colin Capello, Lauren Carter and Hope Machala at World Cup VI. The Texas beaters were rarely in full control of entire games.

I've always believed that a superior passing game and a dominant beating corps were a necessity for success in quidditch and Texas flat-out proved me wrong. Having your prediction about a team at a specific tournament proved wrong is one thing, but having the basis of almost all your opinions about quidditch proved wrong is crushing. Naturally, I looked for explanations about why an inferior passing team with a proficient, but not dominant beating game was able to hoist the seventh annual IQA World Cup.
Photo by Kat Ignatova
In examining UT's games with Maryland, Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas State, I found four "opportunities" that Texas seized. I put opportunities in quotes because a spectator or an analyst or another team would never view some of the following things as opportunities, but that's what they were to Texas. There was a clear strategic problem in the way of UT's World Cup title defense and something happened that either eliminated or neutralized the problem. And all due credit to Texas--the defending champs were able to seize all of the equalizing opportunities presented in order to unexpectedly win World Cup VI.

Texas vs. Maryland
Problem: Harry Greenhouse has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous seekers in the IQA. Greenhouse's seeking makes Maryland a very undesirable opponent for Texas, especially as early in bracket play as the Sweet Sixteen.

What Was Opportunity/How Was It Seized: Maryland was playing some of their best quidditch of the year and energized by his team's performance, Greenhouse could have pulled the trigger. However, Greenhouse did not play at World Cup VII due to an injured thumb. In dodging the bullet of an aggressive, clutch seeker, Texas did not have to shift their strategy or play defensively in the seeker game. Instead, Texas was able to rehearse their regular seeking strategy in preparation for close games against Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas State.

Texas vs. Baylor
Problem: In the Diamond Cup semifinals, Baylor beater David Gilbert applied heavy pressure to Texas' offense. The clear MVP of the game, Gilbert cut off UT's drives, forcing the Longhorns to pass around Baylor's effective zone defense.  UT suffered from poor passing execution, committed many turnovers and lost to Baylor in a blowout. Going into World Cup VII, Gilbert appeared to be UT's kryptonite.

What Was Opportunity/How Was It Seized: David Gilbert was injured in a collision with a sliding Margo Aleman on brooms up. While Gilbert eventually was able to return to the game, the stoppage of play required that Gilbert leave the field and Baylor inserted their back-up beater into their zone defense. With Gilbert out of the game and a less-effective performance from Baylor's back-up beater, Texas was able to dictate the style and pace of the game and jumped all over Baylor, going up 50-10. Texas held bludger control and drove right down the middle of the field on every possession, blocking bludgers before powering through Baylor's strongest defender, keeper Jacob Bruner. Texas hadn't looked so dominant against an elite opponent since the finals of World Cup VI. 
Photo by Ben Holland
The fact that Texas capitalized on a five minute window to face Baylor's defense without Gilbert turned out to be crucial. Gilbert re-entered the game and shifted the momentum in favor of Baylor almost immediately. Seizing bludger control, Gilbert and Brittany Ripperger were able to get into a deadly rhythm. The Baylor tandem fended off UT's aggressive beaters and put an abrupt halt to UT's offense. Texas' offense, including facilitator and captain Augie Monroe, seemed to be completely at the mercy of Gilbert's aggressive tactics. While Gilbert's performance was fantastic, he needed to press harder and take a few more risks to make up for UT's early 40 point lead. Gilbert created an abundance of fast break opportunies for Jacob Bruner and Trent Miller, but Baylor was never able to level the score and ended up falling out of snitch range when their male beaters shifted to the snitch.

Texas vs. Texas A&M
Problem: Texas A&M captain Drew Wasikowski has repeatedly shown that he can carry his team through adversity, providing both a calming effect and high levels of energy to his teammates at just the right times. Wasikowski is also a top point defender, a scoring threat and has kept his Texas A&M squad playing one step ahead of their opponents all season through his direction of the offense.

What Was Opportunity/How Was It Seized: The loss of Wasikowski to an early game ankle injury was understandably a sucker punch to Texas A&M's confidence. All season, Texas A&M seemed to be one step ahead of their opponents, but suddenly, with Wasikowski gone, UT caught up. Texas began to anticipate and intercept Texas A&M's passes and drives. For many minutes in the middle of the game (and even longer in real time due to the injuries), Texas A&M's offense was stuck at 50 points. It was almost as if the Aggies just slowed down. The College Station squad came antagonizingly close to goals, but because of the slightly decreased offensive pace, the closest UT defender had time to swoop in and deny the shots.

In the eyes of UT, Texas A&M was outside of their comfort zone. Texas A&M's "one-step-ahead-of-you" style of play had led to blowouts all season and without the emotional leadership of Wasikowski, Texas A&M might not have been prepared to face a new opponent (the World Cup VII semifinals was shockingly the first official meeting of A&M and UT of the season) on equal footing.  Texas A&M's bobbled catches and slightly-off passes allowed UT's defense time to recover. In response, UT collected turnovers and converted on offense. Texas A&M was built to play "one-step-ahead-of-you," not a back-and-forth slugfest. As they built a lead, it became clear that Texas was built to play a back-and-forth slugfest.
Photo by Nicole Harrig
Texas vs. Texas State 
Problem: After the emotional, physically taxing game against Texas A&M, UT could easily suffer a let down, even with the extra time to recover.

What Was Opportunity/How Was It Seized: I hate to be blunt, but going into the game, the opportunity for UT was getting to play Texas State. But we need to back track first.

To reach the finals, Texas State seized a couple of their own opportunities. Instead of playing (what would have been) a confident Lost Boys squad in the Sweet Sixteen, Texas State faced a regional opponent in LSU, who seemed to be content with a loss after their epic Round of 32 win. Texas State then avoided playing a team that could easily match their physicality in Michigan, who was eliminated by rivals Ohio State on a snitch catch. Finally, Emerson took out BU in the quarterfinals. BU was probably a better conditioned team than Emerson and maybe could have rebounded more completely before facing Texas State. All of the opportunities that Texas State seized led to a big opportunity for UT. Instead of facing BU or the Lost Boys, the only thing standing in the way of Texas' second straight World Cup title was a team they had destroyed 160*-10 at Diamond Cup.

The final "opportunity" presented to Texas, a date with Texas State in the World Cup finals, proved to be the most difficult. Texas State showed immediately that they were a completely different team than the squad UT mawled two months before arriving in North Myrtle Beach. As Texas State jumped ahead 20-0 and maintained a lead throughout the seeker floor, whispers began to circulate around the fields...could Texas State really win the World Cup? 
Photo by Monica Wheeler
The answer was no. Although it took some time and Texas State fought valiantly, UT eventually figured out and took advantage of Texas State's mediocre passing game. Turning Texas State's turnovers into goals, Texas went on a 60-0 run. Goals by Eric Reyes and Tyrell Williams kept Texas State within striking distance of overtime, but ending what could have been an exciting struggle to stay in snitch range, the snitch was caught quickly by Aleman.

Came and Took It
After flying out of Myrtle Beach, returning to my regular high school routine and beginning my spring break, I've concluded that some people will separate their emotions and pre-World Cup opinions from the results of World Cup VII and some will not. While emotion and opinions are a huge part of sports, I'm going to try to let go of the parts that might cloud my judgement as a writer. Texas cleaned up opportunity after opportunity and earned their second consecutive World Cup title. Setting the stage for an exciting 2014-15 season, Texas seems to have a very good chance to defend their back-to-back titles in their hometown of Austin, TX at World Cup VIII. 
Photo by Ben Holland

Saturday, April 12, 2014

World Cup VII Portfolio

Hi Everyone!
Below I've posted everything I wrote during the weekend of World Cup VII. I think of my blog as my personal writing portfolio and since I wrote so much last weekend, I wanted to make sure my World Cup VII writing ended up here.

And I can't publish these articles on my blog without thanking the IQA's copy editors for catching my usual plethora of grammar/spelling mistakes, Logan Anbinder for constant support last weekend, Amanda Dallas for leading the heavy task of preparation for World Cup VII and Andy Marmer and Lindsay Garten for being the final editors, posting all the articles and even creating the titles. Also, many other awesome writers took time out of their World Cup VII weekend to write phenomenal articles in the same format as these. Check out their writing too at iqaworldcup.com/news!

World Cup VII Championship: University of Texas vs. Texas State University
World Cup VII Semifinal: Texas State University vs. Emerson College
World Cup VII Semifinal: University of Texas vs. Texas A&M University
World Cup VII Quarterfinal: University of Texas vs. Baylor University
World Cup VII Round of 32: Louisiana State University vs. Lost Boys QC
World Cup VII Play-In Round: Multiple Games Included
World Cup VII Pool Play: Texas A&M University vs. University of Kansas
World Cup VII Pool Play: Bowling Green State University vs. University of Florida
World Cup VII Pool Play: NYDC Capitalists vs. Austin Quidditch
World Cup VII Pool Play: University of Miami vs. Macaulay Honors College
World Cup VII Pool Play: Santa Barbara Blacktips vs. NYDC Capitalists
Plus the World Cup VII Opening Ceremonies

Texas Two Step: University of Texas Repeats As World Cup Champions

Originally appeared on iqaworldcup.com on April 6, 2014. (http://iqaworldcup.com/texas-two-step-university-of-texas-repeats-as-world-cup-champions/)
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Photo by Ben Holland
Capturing its second consecutive World Cup championship, the University of Texas (UT) defeated Texas State University by a score of 130*-70 in the finals of World Cup VII. Margo Aleman, one of the many newcomers to Texas Quidditch, caught the snitch to complete UT’s title defense.

The game began with Texas State, who defeated Emerson College in the semifinals, firmly in control. Chaser Tyrell Williams, a standout for Texas State all tournament long, scored the first goal of the game, spectacularly spinning past UT defenders, while teammate Richard Kemp added two goals and an assist of his own. UT mustered two goals during this early portion of the game on a goal and an assist from keeper and Captain Augustine Monroe, bringing the score to 40-20 in Texas State’s favor.
Meanwhile, the beater game was wild and scrappy. Assistant referees issued multiple yellow cards to beaters from both teams, resulting in many changes of bludger control.
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Photo by Ben Holland
As the game progressed, Texas State’s passing deteriorated heavily. Monroe was able to intercept several Texas State passes and Texas State’s turnovers soon outnumbered its goals. With the score at 50-30, UT exploded for six consecutive goals to put Texas State out of snitch range. During this critical stretch of the World Cup final, UT continued to make key stops on defense, holding Texas State at 50 points.

With the snitch catch looming, Eric Reyes pulled Texas State back within 30 points, but Aryan Ghoddossy responded for UT, scoring a goal in transition. Although a Tyrell Williams fast break goal put Texas State in snitch range again, UT seeker Margo Aleman was clearly putting heavy pressure on the snitch, who had returned to the pitch. Aleman dove several times, using a long wingspan to come within inches of the snitchsock. Finally, Aleman ripped the snitchsock from snitch Tanner Morris and with no beaters around, the snitch referee signaled “good” immediately.

In addition to giving UT its second World Cup Championship, the win against Texas State improved UT to 9-0 at World Cup VII and gave it its first tournament victory of the season. Texas State fell to 7-2 for the tournament but exceeded all expectations by advancing to the World Cup finals.
Photos by Ben Holland

Reyes Leads Texas State Past Emerson

Originally appeared on iqaworldcup.com on April 6, 2014. (http://iqaworldcup.com/reyes-leads-texas-state-past-emerson/)
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Photo by Megan Atkinson
In the second semifinal between two surprise semifinalists, No. 15 seeded Texas State University pulled away from No. 6 seeded Emerson College to win 170*-80. Texas State’s Eric Reyes scored four goals and caught the snitch, adding to his terrific Team USA resume.

Emerson began the game on a 20-0 run much to the delight of the pro-Emerson crowd, but Texas State chaser Tyrell Williams responded with two goals to level the score before Reyes put the Southwest squad ahead. Despite an Emerson goal that tied the score at 30, Texas State dominated the next portion of the game. Texas State’s point defenders shut down Emerson keeper David Fox, who was unable to drive through the middle of the field. As a result, Texas State led 60-30 after 10 minutes of play. Texas State then scored three goals in a row and seemed to be in complete control.
Nicole Harrig - Emerson x Texas State Semi 5
Photo by Nicole Harrig
However, Emerson made a valiant effort to fight back. The first Northeast team to make the Final Four since Middlebury College at World Cup V scored three goals as Texas State missed offensive opportunities. Emerson recovered Texas State rebounds and prevented Texas State from getting second chance points. After several close missed goals, Emerson pulled into snitch range at 100-70 and the crowd roared, sensing the chance for Emerson to make the World Cup finals.
From there, Texas State seized control of the game, scoring four consecutive goals as the snitch returned to the pitch. Reyes caught the snitch with Texas State holding a 60 point lead for a 170*-80 victory.

Emerson’s thrilling run to the Final Four ended, as Northeasterners formed a tunnel for the Emerson players to run off the pitch through. Emerson finished with a 7-1 record, losing only to Texas State. Texas State improved to 7-1 and will face the University of Texas in the finals of World Cup VII.

Undefeated No More: Defending Champions Knock Off Texas A&M

Originally appeared on iqaworldcup.com on April 6, 2014. (http://iqaworldcup.com/undefeated-no-more-defending-champions-knock-off-texas-am/)

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Photo by Megan Atkinson
Giving No. 5 seeded Texas A&M University its first loss of the season, the No. 1 seed University of Texas (UT) advanced to its second consecutive World Cup final, winning 110*-50.

The contest began with UT and Texas A&M trading goals, with the stars on each team displaying fantastic drives and shots. Goals didn’t come in an onslaught though, as both teams played solid defense that prevented the other team from opening up the score. Keeper/chasers Augustine Monroe, Aryan Ghoddossy and Kaci Erwin stepped up for UT early in the game, each putting the quaffle through the hoops. Texas A&M captain and chaser Drew Wasikowski and chaser Daniel Gibson were important in the game’s opening minutes. However, Wasikowski went down with an ankle injury and Texas A&M turned to lesser-known players for goals. UT’s beaters, a unit that struggled early in the season, were able to maintain bludger control and frustrate the Texas A&M offense.

This regional rivals game was very physical and the high intensity and physicality unfortunately led to two serious injuries. The lengthy delays disrupted the rhythm of the game and put a damper on the World Cup VII semifinals.

Following the second injury, which occurred with the snitch on pitch, Texas seeker Margo Aleman caught the snitch to end the game.

Texas will advance to play the winner of Emerson College versus Texas State University in the finals of World Cup VII.

University of Texas Tops Baylor; Advances to Semifinals

Originally appeared on iqaworldcup.com on April 6, 2014. (http://iqaworldcup.com/university-of-texas-tops-baylor-advancing-to-final-four/)
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Photo by Megan Atkinson
Although the crowds flocked to field one for the Texas A&M University-Lone Star Quidditch Club match, on the other side of North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, the No. 1 seeded University of Texas (UT) prepared to face regional rivals, No. 8 Baylor University. In an intense game where the momentum swung back and forth, Texas triumphed over Baylor by a score of 110*-40, keeping its title defense alive.

In what would turn out to be one of the game’s most pivotal plays, Baylor beater David Gilbert exited the game with an injury on brooms up and Texas exploded for five goals, all from different players. With complete domination of the half court game, UT annihilated Baylor’s famous zone defense without Gilbert on the pitch. To stop the bleeding, Gilbert re-entered the game, regained bludger control and prevented UT from driving straight through the helpless Baylor chaser defense. As a result, UT was forced to pass in the half court and the match began to resemble the Diamond Cup semifinals, where Baylor destroyed Texas. Baylor keeper Jacob Bruner and chaser Trent Miller were able to score twice on the fast break, bringing the score to 50-30. Texas scored once more before the snitch returned to pitch.
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Photo by Megan Atkinson
With the snitch on the pitch, Gilbert subbed out and Baylor’s male beaters shifted to guard the snitch from UT’s efficient seeking corps. At first, the move didn’t hurt Baylor. Bruner drove the length of the pitch with multiple UT defenders attempting tackles before dumping the ball off to Beissy Sandoval for a goal. The goal brought the score to 60-40, putting Baylor in position for a game winning snatch. However, despite the valiant efforts of Baylor beater Brittany Ripperger, the absence of Baylor’s male beater in the zone defense allowed for Texas to score two key goals, knocking Baylor out of snitch range. With his team up 40 points, Kenny Chilton, who caught clutch snitches against UCLA and Texas A&M at World Cup VII, punched Texas’ return ticket to the Final Four.

Texas will play No. 5 seeded Texas A&M next on field one in the first semifinal game.

LSU Stuns Lost Boys

Originally appeared on iqaworldcup.com on April 6, 2014. (http://iqaworldcup.com/lsu-stuns-lost-boys/)

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Photo by Monica Wheeler
Madness exploded at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex when the No. 34 seeded Louisiana State University (LSU) shocked the No. 2 seeded the Lost Boys Quidditch Club 100*-90 in the Round of 32.

With the power of what seemed like the entire West Region cheering on the Lost Boys, the first community team to ever win a North American regional championship was tested by the resilient LSU beating corps and star chaser Brad Armentor. Chris Seto, Michael Mohlman and Peter Lee, considered to be the best beating corps in the country, dueled with Jason Winn, Melissa White and Daniel DePaula, who brought a heavy dose of physicality to the beater game. Tensions flared as Lee was yellow carded for a hard hit that injured White. The LSU beaters opened up the half court for Armentor, who repeatedly collided at full speed with Lost Boys keeper Tony Rodriguez at the hoops and powered through for goals. Rodriguez responded with goals and assists, pumping up the strongly pro-Lost Boys crowd, but LSU forced the Lost Boys to play a half court offense, preventing the Lost Boys from opening a lead through dominant play in the transition game.

With the score tied at 50, Lost Boys chaser Vanessa Goh took down Armentor at half court, forcing a fumble. Jake Tieman picked up the quaffle and raced for a goal at the other end. Tieman added another fast break goal on the next play for the Lost Boys to go up 70-50. After Missy Sponagle appeared to recover a missed LSU shot, a scrum formed behind the hoops and players on both teams exchanged shoves. LSU chaser Jordan Earls received a second yellow card and Lost Boys chaser Mitch Cavender also received a yellow card.

Steve DiCarlo and Winn, who switched to seeker, pursued the snitch, who raced around the edges of the pitch, avoiding lengthy exchanges with the seekers. Beaters struggled to defend the mobile snitch from the opposing seekers and there were several heart-wrenching close attempts at snatches. Winn caught the snitch before a stunned crowd, hoisting it above his head as the refs conferenced. Finally, the catch was declared good and the Lost Boys, a tournament favorite, were eliminated.

LSU advances to the Round of 16 where they will take on Texas State University.