Friday, November 7, 2014

Clash of the Cascades Preview

By Andy Marmer

This weekend, quidditch will reach its last US frontier as the USQ Northwest region holds its first official tournament, the Clash in the Cascades. Hosted by Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, the tournament will feature six of the seven official teams in the Northwest with only the Boise State Thestrals absent and should provide a strong indication of which teams are best positioned to reach USQ World Cup 8.

Northwest Regional Director Kym Couch is thrilled by the region’s debut.

“This is going to be a really big kickoff for the tournament season in the Northwest,” she said. “I'm excited to see the competition level and the refs who are attempting to certify. It's going to be really great.”

Although quidditch in the Northwest began in August with the first ever Northwest Fantasy Tournament, this weekend’s event marks the first ever IQA/USQ official matches for the young region. Additionally, out of the six USQ official teams attending (two mercenary teams and Canada’s Simon Fraser University are also slated to play), the tournament marks the official debut of four: the Western Washington Wyverns, the Portland Augureys, British Columbia Quidditch Club, and the Moscow Manticores at the University of Idaho. The two Idaho squads have the furthest journey each with an over six hour commute across the rugged terrain of Washington.

From a competitive standpoint, the two veteran squads—the Boise State Abraxans and the University of British Columbia (UBC)—are the favorites. The Abraxans are the only Northwest team with official matches under their belts in 2014 with trips to Crimson Cup in Utah and NoCo Cup in Colorado. UBC impressed with a strong showing at UCLA’s Gold Medal Invitational and Western Cup IV. As one of the more experienced squads, it will also enter the tournament with high expectations.

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