The Tennessee Tech Quidditch team left North Carolina undefeated after they crushed 12 teams in the Gold Rush Cup II Saturday Oct. 18.
The Golden Hippogriffs competed against several teams from the South and Mid-Atlantic regions including Virginia Tech, University of South Carolina, Duke University and University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Tech first flattened the three teams in the first round of pool play and then moved on to beat the University of South Carolina 120 to 70 in the semifinals. They finished the tournament Saturday with a 140 to 20 win over Virginia Tech in the finals.
According to team co-founder and chaser Kellie Davis, the victory was due, in large part, to the well-prepared defense.
“Our defense was exceptional this weekend. Our team played a tight man-to-man defense and our beaters focused on stopping the quaffle very well,” said Davis. “Beaters are our best line of defense and are a great asset when used wisely.”
Quidditch is a sport that was invented in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. It has since been adapted for muggles, or non-magic folk. A team consists of seven players: one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and a seeker. The object of the game is to score the most points by putting the quaffle (usually a volleyball) through one of the three goal hoops.
The Golden Hippogriffs are currently ranked 21st in the nation.
“We finished last season ranked 26th in the world and hope to be ranked even higher this year,” said Davis.
Before the team can make the trip to Florida to compete in the World Cup, they must first place high enough in their region to qualify. Tennessee Tech competes in the South region, which receives nine bids for the World Cup.
“We still need to work on our snitch catching consistency and getting good drives and shots on offense,” said Davis.
Chaser and senior chemistry major Alex Ewton suggests getting more physical in their defensive approach.
“Some of the other teams hit really hard; that’s something I think we could work on,” said Ewton. “Whether that means we all go to the gym together or not, or just practicing getting good form down, if we could become a bit more physical, that would help.”
Even with the acknowledgement that the team still has work to do, Ewton is certain the Golden Hippogriffs will return to the World Cup playing field.
“I will say with 100 percent confidence that we will go to the World Cup this year,” said Ewton. “I would say that we are among the top four teams in our region. At this point, it’s just a fact.”