College of Charleston Quidditch (CofC) of Charleston, S.C. hosted its first tournament, the Old Money Classic on Jan. 25.
Editor's note: The author of this article, Sarah Goad, plays for College of Charleston.
Although no IQA-official games took place at the Old Money Classic on Jan. 25, teams played with ferocity. Attending team University of South Carolina and host College of Charleston were likely interested in filing away as much practice as possible before the IQA South Regional Championship, which will take place Feb. 15-16 in Rock Hill, S.C. Tournament winners University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—who already qualified for the World Cup VII at MARC—proved that South Carolina teams have a lot of practicing to do.
In addition to the host team, the following teams were in attendance: Furman University, University of South Carolina (USC), Coastal Carolina University (CCU), Wingate University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).
Some teams at the Old Money Classic were fairly inexperienced. Wingate University’s team, the Wingate Wyooters, was only established this fall and struggled to gain its footing against longer-standing teams as UNC, CofC and USC. The Wyooters particularly struggled during games against USC and UNC. The new team put forth a valiant effort but failed to score during any of its games. It lost to USC 170*-0 and the WCVII-qualified UNC 250*-0. Furman faced a similar disadvantage. It initially managed to match CCU goal-for-goal but CCU eventually caught the snitch for an overtime push and then once again in overtime for a 100*-80 win. In its second game, Furman had even more difficulty grappling with CofC's disciplined chaser line—composed namely of Jack McKee, Matthew Duggan and Cole Holloway, as well as utility players and captains Steven Schwark and Matt Corder. Furman ultimately lost 100*-0.
USC and CCU each won one game apiece. USC’s win was of a fairly large margin against the Wingate Wyooters (170*-0), while CCU’s win was the aforementioned against Furman. Both teams also played UNC. While UNC ran CCU’s players into the ground, its seems that USC’s endurance bolstered its players: they put up a rather unexpected fight and lost in overtime 120*^-100. This is a surprisingly low differential; USC seems to have made a lot of progress this season and, if its players show further improvement between now and then, USC may become a team to watch out for at this year’s South Regional Championship.
CofC made a good showing at its inaugural tournament. Even so, their playing was quite a bit sloppier than that which won them the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s (UNCC) Gold Rush Cup Oct. 19. CofC has been dealing with substantial losses to its roster due to multiple injuries since Gold Rush: Thomas Nash, seeker and chaser, broke his ankle during the beginning of CofC’s match against Florida’s Finest at Florida State University’s Renegade Cup on Nov. 9 and is unlikely to return to the pitch anytime soon, and chaser Will Duggan has been struggling with concurrent sprained ankles and concussions, and, had he not been tournament director this weekend, it is unlikely he would have been capable of playing. Despite this, it seems that the team may finally be tightening its play once more under the recently reorganized leadership of captains Schwark and Corder. CofC is certainly the most seasoned team in South Carolina and could, with enough effort and training, snag a WCVII spot at regionals in a few weeks.
UNC and CofC dominated the tournament; both teams went undefeated in their matches until the finals, which pitted the two against one another. Led by utility player Chris Champitto and chaser Lee Hodge, UNC played spectacularly well for the first half of the final game, pushing past CofC’s usually strong defense to score consecutive goals with fast breaks and behind-the-hoop shots. UNC lacked a few key players for this tournament, including captain Amit Katyayan and utility player Alex Crawford. Similarly, captain Max Miceli was recovering from a cold and was not entirely back to his full strength. The team united despite its unfortunate circumstances. The snitch returned to the pitch during the UNC-CofC match at around 18 minutes and was not there long before it was caught by Champitto. The score was sealed at UNC 140* to CofC 100, and UNC was crowned the victor of the first Old Money Classic.
UNC-CH (120**) v. USC (100)
Coastal (100**) v. Furman (80)
CofC (140*) v. Coastal (20)
UNC-CH (250*) v. Wingate (0)
USC (170*) v. Wingate (0)
CofC (100*) v. Furman (0)
UNC-CH (140*) v. Coastal (10)
CofC (90*) v. USC (60)
Finals: UNC-CH (140*) v. CofC (100)