Rochester, N.Y. will play host to 25 teams this weekend as they compete in the Northeast Regional Championship.
Editor’s Note: Jayke Archibald, the IQA’s Northeast correspondent, is a member of Q.C. Boston: the Massacre.
This weekend, the Northeast region will travel to Rochester, N.Y. for its regional championship. There will be 12 World Cup VII bids up for grabs, with 25 teams competing for them. Day one will be dedicated to group play, with day two solely devoted to bracket play. The teams will be divided into five pools of five teams each, with the top four from each pool moving onto bracket play. From there, seeds 13-20 will enter the play-in round, with the losers being eliminated and the winners moving into the Round of 16. The winners in the Round of 16 automatically qualify for WCVII, while the losers will enter into a double elimination bracket until four teams remain. Those teams will receive the last four bids.
Alfred University Saxons Quidditch Club
Boston University Quidditch (BU)
Ithaca College Quidditch
New York University Nundu (NYU)
Highlighted by tournament-favorite BU, pool one looks to be more competitive toward the bottom than at the top. BU should cruise to first in the pool with an undefeated record behind the beating of Katrina Bossotti and Max Havlin, and keeper Brendan Stack should be unmatched in the quaffle game. NYU should claim second in the pool despite an up-and-down season so far, and the matchup of Kyle Jeon versus Havlin and Bossotti could be intriguing, as Jeon has proven thus far this season he can hold his own against the region’s best beaters. He will be critical to NYU’s success throughout the day, but the team’s overall talent should enable it to win its other three games. Alfred University has had a relatively successful early season thus far in the Snow Belt Conference, with a notable win over SUNY Geneseo, but was also shut out by McGill University. Brandeis University has also had some success in the Southern New England Quidditch Conference (SNEQC) this season, but was also handily defeated by the University of Massachusetts Amherst three times. The game between these two should determine third and fourth place in the pool, with Ithaca College likely coming in last.
Clark University Quidditch
Macaulay Marauders Quidditch
New York Badassilisks
Rochester Institute of Technology Quidditch (RIT)
University of Rhode Island Quidditch Club (URI)
One of the most competitive pools at the tournament, pool two should feature a three-team battle for first place between RIT, Macaulay and the Badassilisks. RIT’s biggest strength is its size and physicality, led by keeper Jeff Sherman. Despite high expectations and a good record, RIT has had some big losses this season, including blowouts by the University of Rochester and Penn State University.
Macaulay does not have the size of RIT, but it does have strong veteran leadership and a very good beater line, as well as one of the best seekers in the region in Andrew Zagelbaum. The team is built to win close games, which it will most likely face against the Badassilisks and RIT. The Badassilisks’ strengths are a little bit of both of what Macaulay and RIT feature, having good size in the quaffle game behind chaser Josh Stone and a strong veteran seeker in Matthew Zeltzer. The Badassilisks have had strong showings at both tournaments the team has attended this year, including close wins over NYU and Stony Brook University as well as close losses to the NYDC Capitalists and Hofstra University. At the end of the day, Macaulay will probably squeak out first place in the pool, but the overall order may be determined by point differentials. At the bottom of the pool, Clark will most likely beat URI for fourth place.
Harvard University Quidditch
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Remembralls (RPI)
Tufts University Tufflepuffs
University of Massachusetts Amherst Quidditch (UMass)
This pool is considered by many to be the strongest across the board in the tournament. Tufts is the favorite to win the pool, following its resurgence this season led by the terrific beating of Michael Sanders. Tufts also features two of the best female chasers in the region in Hannah DeBaets and Emily Hickmontt, whose presence will create mismatches all tournament.
Despite having the lowest IQA ranking in the pool due to playing no official games, Harvard should be the second best team in this pool. Harvard’s biggest weakness is depth as it often does not bring a full complement of players to tournaments. That may hurt it on day two, but for pool play the team should fare well behind chasers Jon Jackson and Hank Smith. UMass is better than its official record indicates, as it has done well in conferences and has only lost to the Badassilisks in overtime earlier in the season at the Massachusetts Quidditch Conference/SNEQC Invitational. Beater Robert Vortherms anchors the team's defense, and it has strong chasers that will be the most physical in the pool. RPI has already beaten Skidmore once this season and should take fourth place in the pool by doing so again.
Emerson College Quidditch
Grove City College
Stony Brook Quidditch
SUNY Geneseo Quidditch Club
Syracuse University Quidditch Club
Emerson, led by keeper David Fox and beater Aaron Wohl, should have little trouble dispatching the rest of the pool on its way to a possible overall tournament first seed, depending on point differentials. Emerson’s new zone defense has worked tremendously well for it, and only a snitch-range loss to NYDC has blemished the team's record recently.
The battle for second in this pool will be the most competitive, with Stony Brook and Geneseo’s matchup most likely being the determining factor. While Geneseo qualified for World Cup VI last season and Stony Brook did not, the programs have been moving in opposite directions ever since, with Stony Brook doing well at the Big Apple Quidditch Conference (BAQC) and Geneseo struggling in the Snow Belt Quidditch Conference. Not to be overlooked is Syracuse, who beat Geneseo earlier in the season but has since struggled. Syracuse will most likely get fourth, followed by Grove City in last place.
Stony Brook: 3-1
SUNY Geneseo: 2-2
Grove City: 0-4
Hofstra University Flying Dutchmen
India Point Ashwinders (IPA)
Q.C. Boston: the Massacre
University of New Haven Quidditch (UNH)
University of Rochester Thestrals
What most consider the pool of death, pool five has three teams that could all make the tournament’s semi-finals. The University of Rochester, led by chaser Devin Sandon and beater Harry Clarke, relies on strong teamwork and communication. The team had a strong early showing at the University of Maryland’s Turtle Cup II before being blown out by Hofstra in the first round of bracket play. Hofstra’s early success this season has come at the hands of its tremendous beater lineup, where Alex Leitch and Theresa Buchta have kept nearly every game within snitch range when the chasing game has struggled. Q.C. Boston has had a tough initial season playing against the region’s best in Boston, with multiple losses already to Tufts, Emerson and BU. However, this strength of schedule should have prepared the team well for the tournament, and a quaffle game featuring Kedzie Teller, Zach D’Amico and Victor Viega is the strongest in the pool. These three teams’ games against one another should determine the first three places in the pool, while UNH and IPA should have a good battle for fourth place in a matchup of last season’s SNEQC finals.
Q.C. Boston: 4-0
BU, Emerson, Tufts, Q.C. Boston, Hofstra, Macaulay, Rochester, RIT, NYU, Stony Brook, Badassilisks, Harvard
BU versus Emerson, BU takes the regional title
Body photo of Max Havlin by Michael E. Mason/IQA Staff. Body photo of Kedzie Teller courtesy of Kedzie Teller.