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Flight A, Round One: Mid-Atlantic teams come out hot

Texas 200* – Columbia 0
Creighton 140* – Michigan State 40
Richmond 120* – Middlebury 30
James Madison 100* – Illinois State 20

Flight A kicked off US Quarantine Cup 13 with a set of four out-of-range games, two results falling expectedly, one major upset and a strong performance by James Madison University. University of Texas and Creighton University, the one and two seeds, respectively, put Columbia College Chicago and Michigan State University out of range in what were relatively simple warm-up games for the two regional finalists.

Meanwhile, Flight A’s No. 6 University of Richmond defeated No. 3 Middlebury College in what quickly turned into a rout as Middlebury struggled to adapt a game plan in their first non-conference game played without Ian Scura since 2011. With this loss, Middlebury needs to win their next two games, including one against either Texas, Creighton or James Madison, in order to make bracket play.

Meanwhile, No. 4 James Madison, fresh off a snitch-range game with the University of Maryland at Red Solo Cup in February, beat Illinois State University out of range in a slow-paced game. Illinois State’s beaters Kenneth Bonomo and Caleb Manns were able to control the pace of the game, allowing James Madison to only put up 70 quaffle points, but early morning offensive stutters led to them being put just out of range by James Madison. The Mid-Atlantic team is now just one win away from their third bracket appearance in as many years.

“Overall, we try not to sit on losses and think about them too long,” said Linnea Schultz, Illinois State captain. “We pick up and, again, move on.”

Moving forward, Illinois State will look to capitalize on the chemistry of starting keeper Ben Burkhalter and chasers Luke Marselle and Kristin Heyder to bring their offense up to speed.


Flight B, Round One: Favorites Prevail as Florida meets their first out of region test

Harvard 170* – LSU 70
Missouri – 150* – Arizona 10
Florida – 130* – Virginia Tech 90
Boston – 140* – West Virginia 40

Pool favorites Harvard University and University of Missouri got out to a fast start in their morning matchups against LSU and University of Arizona, respectively. Despite bringing a small corps of players, LSU beaters Freddie Zarazua and Stefon Matthews were able to create enough chaos against Harvard’s elite beater corps of Michael “Soup” Chenevey, Cassia Larson and Ade Arjona to give their chasers room enough to put up seven goals in a relatively fast-paced game. However, Harvard’s disciplined zone and methodical offense were able to keep their scoring pace fast enough to keep the game well out of range for most of the time.

“Our goal is to play our game because I don’t think the other teams can keep up with our beaters,” said Lulu Xu, Harvard beater coach. “Soup plays similarly to coach Max Havlin’s aggressive style, and if teams are not mentally prepared, they can easily fall behind due to fast breaks.”

Harvard remains confident going into their next matchup and hopes to ride their momentum.

“We hope to win the flight and stay away from injuries going into bracket play,” Xu said.

At the same time, second-seed Mizzou received a welcome warmup game in what ended up being a near shutout against Arizona.
Meanwhile, Harvard’s cross-town rivals, Boston University, were able to put on a similarly impressive performance against the home team, West Virginia University, in an out-of-range game.

“The team knows that it only gets harder from here, and we are ready to show everyone the depth and talent that we have to offer!” said Ari Swift, Boston captain.

Ultimately, a game many of our analysts predicted to be one of the most exciting in the first round of flight play ended up being just that, with the University of Florida narrowly taking down Virginia Tech in a back-and-forth snitch range game. This is a Florida team that has been a proverbial black box all season, having not played an out-of-region game since last year’s nationals, up against a Virginia Tech team that is back at full strength after several injuries left them without significant depth after an early season win against Mid-Atlantic finalist University of Virginia.

It always feels good to win a game, especially your first game at nationals,” said Nick Zakoske, Florida coach. “It sets us up nicely for where we want to be and it shows a lot of the work we have done to get better.”

Virginia Tech needs to win two straight to make bracket play, while Florida only needs to win one of their next two to qualify.

 

Flight C, Round One: Top chasers put games out of range while Penn State and RIT beaters scrap in in-range rematch

Maryland 150*- Baylor 30
Miami Ohio 180* – NCSU 40
Texas State 150* – Rochester 80
Penn State 80* – RIT 70

In the top three games in the flight, the favorites–University of Maryland, Miami University – Ohio and Texas State University–were able to put games out of range in large part due to their depth and up-tempo play in each team’s chaser game.

Texas State, while being able to run an uptempo offense in the chaos produced by beaters Bradley Himes and Cameron Ogilvie, had some difficulty building a defensive response to the University of Rochester’s passing attack. Once the snitch came on pitch, however, Texas State was ultimately able to take the game just out of range, defeating Rochester 150*-80.

“We don’t play many teams bigger than us, so we wanted to match the physicality of Texas State but not rely on our size to make our offense work,” said David Rowcroft, Rochester captain. “Maddison Jordan and Just King were able to shine on the offensive end because of their ability to maneuver around the field and pick out passes against the physicality Texas State brought.”

In the No. 4 vs No. 5 game in the flight, Penn State University was able to stave off a snitch-on-pitch comeback from RIT to win 80*-70, answering their 170*-140 (1OT, no catch) loss to them at the Nittany Invitational in October.

“We wanted to start the game in a double-male beater set to match the double-male beater set we knew they would bring,” said Alec Murray, Penn State captain, adapting to their previous October loss. “That let us slow the game down and help create the space we needed for our chasers to get us good scoring opportunities.”







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