Ives Pond Quidditch Club is heading to NYC this weekend to compete in the World Cup. Currently ranked #9 in the world, Buffalo will represent with 20 players on the team's roster. I caught up with a couple of team members in their van moments ago to find out what they are anticipating to encounter at the tournament. "There are 100 teams and 2000 athletes appearing in what will be the fifth World Cup," Assistant Captain James Maska told me. "Buffalo has played in four of the cups. Middlebury, the team that founded the sport and has won every year... they've never lost a game. We've never had the opportunity to play them, but we'd love the challenge this year. This sport is growing fast and Buffalo's team in one of the best around."
It's incredible to see just how much this sport has taken off. BRO's Sarah Maurer detailed the ins and outs of the sport last November as the team was heading to NYC in search of victory (see here
). That was the first time that many of us learned that Buffalo even had a team, let alone one that ranked so highly. "This year we have a lot more experience," Nick Kelly, the team's Captain chimed in. "Because 20 players who played last year are back. We actually have more size because more people are considering the game a real sport, and that means that more people than ever are looking to play. Everyone takes it more seriously, although there's still an element of goofiness. For the first time we have different, well developed, lines and a playbook. We have certain strengths that other teams don't have.
"Looking at the first round of the tournament, we beat Eastern Michigan last year, but the other teams we have never played against. Our experience level should take care of Marquette and Texas because they are new to the game. We have size over UMass - that should deliver us a win. We play a fast break offense, so we have a ton of speed. Our beaters can knock players out - meaning that we don't even give the other teams a chance on goal. For example, on October 30 we played Syracuse and we beat them 110 to 10. We don't like to have other teams score - that's the bottom line. We'll be updating our Facebook site
after every game. We don't plan on leaving NYC this weekend without the World Cup."
FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE (Saturday)
vs. Eastern Michigan University (10:30 am)
vs. Marquette University (1:10 pm)
vs. University of Texas (5:40 pm)
vs. UMass (8:20 pm)
Look for Ives Pond to be hosting a winter quidditch tournament at the upcoming Olmsted Parks Flurrious! Festival on January 21 (see Facebook for updates