Each week Andy Marmer and Jack the Phan will give you a brief, but thorough, recap of the IQA tournaments that took place the prior weekend.
Oklahoma State University hosted 10 foes from across the Southwest (including Wichita State University, who, although technically based in the Midwest, will be competing in the Southwest Regional Championship) for Cowboy Cup III. Baylor University marched through the tournament relatively unchallenged, triumphing over the hosts 150*-10 in the finals. The defending Southwestern champions did not lose a single contest on the day, nor were any of their matches decided by a snitch grab, as they routed the competition. Two other qualifiers from World Cup VI were in attendance: the hosts (who lost just twice on the day, both times to Baylor), and the Silver Phoenixes, who trekked over six hours from College Station, Texas to attend. The two squads finished second and third respectively in the double-elimination tournament with Oklahoma State triumphing 110*-60 in the lone head-to-head matchup.
The Silver Phoenixes entered the loser’s bracket as the victim of the most shocking result of the day, a 60*-50 loss to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS), who entered the bracket as the lowest seed after pool play losses to Baylor and Wichita State. The Silver Phoenixes got their revenge later in bracket play with a 160*-60 drubbing of UAFS in the penultimate game of the loser’s bracket.
Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) and the Denver Dementors both turned in solid days earning the fourth and sixth seed respectively and being knocked out of the loser’s bracket just prior to UAFS with losses to the Silver Phoenixes and UAFS. Texas Tech University garnered the fifth seed entering the bracket but was knocked out by successive losses to OBU and Denver. Wichita State, the seventh-seed, suffered a similar fate with consecutive losses to Oklahoma State and the Silver Phoenixes.
Elsewhere in the Southwest, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) welcomed four teams to Greeley, Colo. for the NoCo Cup. In an inter-regional final, UNC triumphed over the Utah Crimson Fliers (Western Region) 140*-30. The hosts went 5-0 on the day, while the Crimson Fliers went 3-2, dropping both matches to UNC, one each in pool (70*-10) and bracket play. Colorado State University went 1-3 on the day, with its lone victory coming over winless University of Colorado 170-40*.
Players to Watch
1. Baylor's speed and transition ability was too much for its northern, Southwest foes at Cowboy Cup III. Spearheading the Bears' high octane offense was chaser Trent Miller. Making difficult catches on the run and getting by defenders, Miller is not the most physical player but with great balance, can stay on his feet after hard hits. Miller, who scored sparingly last year, is becoming Baylor's leading scorer with many chasers sidelined by injury.
2. UAFS player Justin Peters did it all for his team this weekend. Peters is explosive and physical on both ends of the pitch. Delivering technically sound and strong hits on defense, Peters led UAFS to bracket play upsets over the Denver Dementors and the Silver Phoenixes. Also stepping in at beater and seeker, Peters is the kind of player that could be able to will his team to a World Cup VII berth if he is underestimated.
3. De'Vaughn Gamlin, UNC's keeper, led his team to a dominant victory at NoCo Cup. Gamlin is one of UNC's most experienced players. With great natural speed and agility, Gamlin has also developed good vision. UNC is not overly reliant on the play of Gamlin though. Chasers Becca Mulligan and Kristin Jakus are common targets for Gamlin as well as good finishers, and beater Phil Hargrove is also very important to UNC's success. Competing for WCVII qualification in the deep Southwest, UNC could sneak in, as they have a great on-pitch leader in Gamlin and play with passion.
1. The Utah Crimson Fliers was without many of its players at NoCo Cup. The absences of starting keeper Zach Holley, Alan Black and utility player Dakota Briggs were especially felt as the Crimson Fliers settled for second place out of four teams. While Utah took care of Colorado State and Colorado, it lost twice to UNC, falling 140*-30 in the finals.
Words from the Victors
Baylor--Cowboy Cup III
"The main point of this tournament for us was to just get both of our teams playing," said Baylor president David Gilbert, who noted that it has been difficult to find tournaments that fit Baylor's schedule. "We feel a lot of momentum going into Lone Star Cup and we are very hungry to prove we haven't gone anywhere."
Northern Colorado--NoCo Cup
"For our team to win NoCo it took a lot of focus and determination," said UNC captain and chaser Becca Mulligan. "After beating the Utah Crimson Fliers at Rocky Mountain, we knew that they'd be coming for us. We had to make sure that we were mentally focused for our games against them and that we didn't let up. Every one of my players stepped up to the plate during this tournament to play different positions to help us take home the trophy."
Player of the Weekend
Baylor utility Reed Marchman played with flair and physicality at Cowboy Cup III in his signature gold shorts. At the point, there was no answer for Marchman's in-your-face point defense and ability to force turnovers. All day, he brought the energy to execute tackle after tackle. Marchman also turned in a solid seeking performance. If Baylor is going to compete this weekend at the more competitive Lone Star Cup II, Marchman needs to replicate his defensive performance but against some of the best point players in quidditch.
David Gilbert, Alan Black and Chandler Smith contributed reporting.