Sunday morning marked the beginning of World Cup bracket play. With 48 teams qualifying for the bracket, the 32 lowest seeds were forced to win a first round game to advance to the Round of 32.
|Photo by Monica Wheeler|
In a rematch of a shocking pool play upset, the No. 38 seeded University of Miami snuck by the No. 27 seeded Utah Crimson Fliers in an intense game. Miami jumped out to an early lead and hovered around snitch range for the first ten minutes. However, Utah was aided by bludger control and fought back into the game, bringing the score to 60-50. After a couple of false snatches, a snitch catch by Miami was confirmed and the Southern Regional Champions avenged their pool play loss.
|Photo by Hannah Huddle|
No. 37 seeded Northern Arizona University fell to No. 28 seeded Ball State University 100-90* due to an accidental suicide snatch by Northern Arizona’s Porter Marsh in a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair. As Ball State attempted to pull out of snitch range of the World Cup VI quarterfinalists, chaser Tyler Walker put the Midwestern squad on his back by scoring multiple goals in transition. After an apparent miscommunication, Marsh pulled the trigger at the wrong time, killing his own team the way he eliminated several teams in bracket play last year.
|Photo by Megan Atkinson|
No. 29 seeded Penn State University defeated the No. 30 seeded Santa Barbara Blacktips 100*-70. The game started out evenly matched, but it quickly became apparent that the Blacktips’ defense was full of holes. Perhaps tired from playing in the grueling Pool of Death yesterday, big shot blocks from Ren Bettendorf in bludgerless situations and blown Penn State opportunities were the only things keeping Santa Barbara in the game. Beater Andy Abayan subbed in with the snitch on the pitch and briefly got things under control, but eventually, Penn State’s depth overpowered the Blacktips’ seeker game.
|Photo by Isabella Gong|
At the beginning of the first round game between Northeast foes the No. 22 seeded Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the No. 43 seeded QC Boston: The Massacre (QCB), RIT’s chasers blew up QCB’s sophisticated plays with ground shaking hits. Keeper Victor Viega and chaser Kedzie Teller responded with big hits on defense and connected for two quick goals. Beater Sheldon Bostic regained bludger control after serving a penalty and shut down the frustrated RIT offense. The momentum swung in QCB’s favor as the snitch returned to the pitch. A Kedzie Teller goal put QCB up 50-20 and the score remained the same until RIT utility Shane Hurlbert caught the snitch to send the game to overtime. With Hurlbert in at seeker for RIT again, RIT punched its ticket to the Round of 32 in overtime.
On the field next to QC Boston-RIT, another Snow Belt team, No. 44 seeded University of Rochester, forced overtime against the No. 21 seeded University California-Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA keeper Zach Luce controlled the pace of the game, playing slow and breaking into transition at all the right times. However, Luce’s long shots were off, UCLA’s half court passing fell apart and Rochester was able to stay in snitch range. Bludger control was seized and lost by both teams, but UCLA had two bludgers for the majority of the time. Ultimately, UCLA’s bludger control gave its seekers better chances in overtime and UCLA avoided a loss, advancing to the Round of 32 with a 100^-50* win.
|Photo by Megan Atkinson|