When I first saw the short blonde beater on ISU Firebirds I instantly thought she was pretty. I love her curly hair and from what I saw on the pitch she can really play. Wish I could get to know her more…
This year’s Midwest Regional tournament was a big deal for our team. We’ve changed a lot over this year, and we haven’t exactly had the best year in terms of winning records. We’ve lost many old members, but we’ve also gained many amazing new members. Going into the Midwest Cup, I was really excited for the new member to see what this tournament is all about. Last year at the Midwest Cup, the Firebirds and the Red Owls had the best time. It was one of our favorite tournaments ever and we’ve told nothing but great stories from it. All semester we’ve been describing to our new members how great this tournament would be.
We started out at 3pm on Friday. The majority of our car group was able to leave at that time thankfully. We had a 4 hour drive ahead of us, plus losing an hour to the time change. We came prepared, with our boom box, team banner, and tent all packed. Unfortunately our tent couldn’t fit in any of the cars so we had to leave that behind and hope for beautiful weather (which we got!).
We knew going into it, that our route to securing a World Cup spot would be difficult. We were placed in what I would (arguably) call one of the hardest pools. The top 4 teams had ALL been within the top 10 spots at least year’s Midwest Cup. I think that any of the teams in our pool could have defeated any of the others. It was anyone’s call, and I am glad that we didn’t underestimate anyone.
Going into our first day, we were excited. Our first match was to be against a team that we didn’t know at all. Unfortunately, that team had dropped out. That hurt us in several ways…particularly that we didn’t get to play at all until 2:30pm and had arrive at 7:30am. We’d been looking to warm up in our first game, in order to get some steam going for our OSU and MSU games which we knew were going to be difficult. Not only that, but there was no quaffle differential to buffer us in standings like some other teams, who clearly took advantage of that. Our pool was definitely a tough one.
We started out our first game rocky. We’d been sitting around for most of the day and played in what was an extremely short game. It was slightly disheartening to have waited around all day to play a game that was under 10 minutes long, and with little chance to pick up our game on the field. OSU caught the snitch in what was a slightly confusing catch. After some deliberation, the catch was called clean and OSU won 50-0. That game was the second shortest game of the tournament (the first shortest being the Purdue x Kansas upset game at around 8 mins), and it barely gave our team a chance to warm up OR play some players who could have used some more play time.
Our next game was against MSU around 4:45pm. We’d waited all day to play some more, so we were excited to get back on the pitch. We kept it even on the field for a very long time, but lost control once the snitch was back on the field. We lost the snitch catch, and lost the game at 140-50.
We went back to the hotel feeling slightly dejected and worn out. We’d gotten up early and spent most of our day sitting around. We also felt the pressure of our next morning game against Mizzou. If we wanted to even advance, we had to win that game. A lot of our team spent some time in the pool and then we picked up our spirits with a trip to Applebee’s! The Firebirds love to goof off.
The next morning, we got up and began to prepare for our match. We knew better than to underestimate Mizzou. This game meant everything to us and we had to come back home with at least one win. Mizzou had a small team, and we tried to use this to our advantage. When the snitch was back on the field, our veteran seeker Kristen Person was on it. This is her last semester playing quidditch due to student teaching in Spring. This was her time to shine and she certainly did. She caught the snitch and in a similar fashion to last year, was enveloped by her team in a sea of hugs. Her catch meant us advancing, but it was also amazing to have her catch one more snitch in her last tournament with us. We won 60-20.
From that point, we knew we’d have an even harder road. Being at the bottom of our pool, at the bottom of the 3rd place spots…we were afraid of which team we would be facing for our first bracket game.
We all groaned the moment we saw who we would be playing…CMU. We had lost to them 2 weeks ago, and we knew what they had to bring. They are an amazing team, with so many talented players. This was going to be a rough game indeed. The field play was intense, physical, and fast. The game feels like a blur and so much happened during it. Rowan Young caught the snitch and we went into overtime. The 5 minutes seemed to last forever, with both teams trading goals repeatedly. As the clock ran down, our team had the quaffle and thought we needed to score one more time to win. Many of us were screaming for Isaac Mitchell to advance up the field and score in the remaining 5 seconds (lol). When the timer ran out, I don’t think either team fully comprehended what was happening. We thought we had lost, and had to be told several times that we had taken the win at 100-09 in OT with no snitch catch. The CMU team is a force to be reckoned with and their game against Ball State was one of my favorite ever. For the Firebirds to have won in overtime, without a snitch catch, is something that I am still wrapping my mind around. We poured everything we had into that game, and it still ended slightly bittersweet. The CMU team certainly deserved a spot at the World Cup and it will be sad to not see them there.
Although we had won there, we still had more games to play! We had an hour to rest up, and for players to pull their broken bodies together to play again. Of course, our next match-up was also a tough one. We were to play Marquette in the quarter-finals. Coming off our big game against CMU, we lost it during the Marquette game. We were tired and running out of steam at that point. We lost to Marquette but are proud to have been eliminated by the team that won the entire tournament, there is no shame in that. Not only that, but our seeker Jake Johnson caught the snitch and I think that is pretty impressive considering we were playing the #2 IQA ranked team in the world we started out ranked somewhere in the 50’s.
The tournament was overall an amazing trip. Our game-play may have stopped at our loss to Marquette, but we still had a great time staying to watch the finals. We cheered for Ball State during their Marquette game (cheering for #99 Anthony an old friend from last year’s Midwest Cup and the infamous “Jackie’s best friend” the BSQL captain). Sadly, the All-Star game was canceled but some teams still got together for a scrimmage including at least one of our players who attended as a spectator due to healing from an injury. The finals games were exciting to watch and it really amazed us to see how great the teams in our region are.
We made lots of friends at this tournament, from an extremely nice Kansas player who looked like Thor (Cedric), to a Purdue friend (Alex), and the entire SIUC team (massage circle!). We also got to say “hi” to friends from last year like Anthony, and our eternal fangirl Karla. The tournament was extremely well run, and it was a blast. The merchandise was great, and proud to say it was designed by an ISU player, Isaac. We’ve come a long way since last year but I hope that my team continues to stay great and remain a positive force in the quidditch world.
This tournament was so much fun and so much work. We didn’t play the first two games, but we played our first against Elmhurst. We greatly underestimated them, and lost fairly. Then we played four games in a row to get us from the losing bracket all the way to the final match.
We were exhausted, we were 9 players total, but we didn’t let them win it easily. In the end it was the snitch catch that won it, close enough that if we had caught it, it would have been us celebrating (and then playing against ISU again, because it’s double-elimination, and they didn’t lose either of their two games).
I have ten bruises, a headache, and, apparently, a new reputation for absolutely laying people out. Hopefully, someone has a picture or video.
went on a quidditch roadtrip this weekend to Indiana for the Great Lakes Conference Tournament. (btw way to be awesome CMU and MSU! & purdue for hosting a great tournament!) anyway, here are just a few things that were said in our car on the way.
“I love laundry mats! … They smell nice.”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY PANTS?”
“It’s so fluffly.” <- in reference to a cookie
and lots and lots of swearing, and of course, once we reached our hotel we settled down for a nice viewing of Holy Musical B@tman before we woke up for a great tournament where we had a blast, and also figured out the things we gotta work on.