After a great showing at last year's World Cup and...
After a great showing at last year's World Cup and being predicted to take home the title of Midwest Champions by many, Marquette University stepped up its game and realized its potential at last as the team won first place at the Midwest Regional Championship in Mason, Ohio.
Perhaps the team with the largest target on its back going into the tournament, Marquette's athletes brought everything they had onto the pitch. In it to win, the team put on an impressive show, running their pool and then rounding off the championship with an undefeated record for the weekend. Having to face off against Ball State University in the semi-finals, the match was close to going either way. In the end, Marquette ended up pulling the snitch and earning a spot in the finals.
Then came the championship match: Marquette University versus Bowling Green State University. BGSU, which placed 18th out of 18 teams at Midwest Cup 2011, has completely turned around their team, becoming a strong force to be reckoned with. Despite holding its own for the first part of the match, the score slowly started to slip out of grasp and the tournament was over when Marquette's seeker ended the game in his team's favor. Despite playing clean, Marquette Quidditch plays a hard and aggressive game like teams are familiar with in regions such as the Southwest. With an unmatched physicality and fantastic game play, there is no doubt that this team deserved to take home the gold.
23 teams competed in the event, and their final standings are below. The top 10 teams earned spots for World Cup VI in Kissimmee, FL this April:
Ball State University
Bowling Green State University
Michigan State University
University of Kansas
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
Not too surprising, every Midwest team that made it to bracket play in D1 of World Cup V—Kansas, Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, and Minnesota—made it through this year's qualification process, along with previous WCV D2 champions Purdue. As mentioned, BGSU is moving on as well after a spectacular turnaround since last season. Additionally, veteran teams of the region Ball State, Illinois State, and Ohio State all qualified for World Cup in Kissimmee, Florida.
In addition to the impressive competition put forth by all of the teams in attendance, there were many things put to the test at this tournament. The Midwest Regional Championship brought back the concept of color coordinated fields, which were extensively planned from field paint to balls to fun hats for snitches to referee jerseys and even to custom color coded snitch tails made for the event. The quaffles used were high quality Baden products, each colored to match the pitches and imprinted with the Midwest regional logo. Lastly, this tournament was the first ever to use a nearly all-metal hoop design, which yielded both game play advantages and debates on Facebook.
This event would not have been possible without quite a few important people. The Regional Championship Committee: Assistant Tournament Director Karla Bentcover, Referee Coordinator Luke Changet, Snitch Coordinator Daniel Daugherty, Game Play Director Lawrence Lazewski, Merchandise Coordinator and Model Benjamin Little, Kidditch Coordinator Megan DeLancey, Equipment Director Katie Mahoney, Field Director Chris McCormick, Tech Director Alexis Moody, Marketing Director Curtis Taylor, and Volunteer Coordinator Allie Tyler deserve a huge thank you. Another shout out is necessary for Commissioner Alex Benepe, Teams Director Harrison Homel, and Membership Director Katie Stack who have been bravely attending all North American regional championships this fall!
Of course, we must also thank the wonderful folks at Quiyk, All About Group Travel, and the Warren County Visitor and Conventions Bureau for all of the time and energy they have put into making this event possible for the Midwest. Their aid and support was invaluable. You guys are the best!
More photos will be added as they are edited.
The final scores can be found here.
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US Quidditch (USQ) is a magical 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to governing the sport of quidditch and advancing the sport by organizing events and programs that build community and empower all genders to compete together. Inspired by the Harry Potter novels, USQ serves athletes and fans, from sport-lovers to book-lovers and everything in between.