Monday, January 26, 2015

80 in 80: Miami University

As part of our efforts to preview all 80 teams competing in USQ World Cup 8, the Quidditch Post is chatting with representatives from each team. Today we spoke with Matt Dwyer coach of Miami University.

Photo by Gracie Rapnicki

Quidditch Post: So, what are Miami's goals at World Cup this year?
Matt: To make it as far as we can. We would like to prove ourselves as a high-level team that has the skill and teamwork to succeed.

QP: Haha, that’s understandable. Do you feel that the team has something to prove? Miami has been a bubble team the past few years.Matt: I believe so. We would like to get out of the status of "bubble team" and move toward the upper tier of the Midwest (soon to be Great Lakes, I suppose). It seems like every year at least one analyst says "this is Miami's year," only to end the year saying "it wasn't quite Miami's year."  We would like to change that.

QP: What do you think it will take for Miami to achieve this goal at World Cup?Matt: I think it will take a lot of dedication to put in the hours for fitness and really nail the fundamentals of gameplay. We have done better with adjusting our gameplan on the fly this year (which is immensely important come time for the Cup), and by being able to be in shape and thus more alert, as well as not struggling over simple hurdles like a passing game, I think we will be able to adjust to take on teams with styles we've never played before with gusto. It also comes down to doing this all as a team. We all understand that we are in this together, and we all need to support each other in this endeavor. Strong teamwork is the glue that holds all the previous components I mentioned together.

QP: Speaking of teams you've never played before, are there any teams in particular that you would like to play?Matt: I would love to exact revenge on Loyola University New Orleans and Sam Houston State University from World Cup VI, haha. That would be a good time. Otherwise, I would love to play a big Southwest team like the University of Texas at Austin or Lone Star Quidditch Club just to experience that level of play firsthand (and to see how we stack up). And of course, it would be cool to play the University of Miami to see which Miami is superior.

QP: Miami vs Miami sounds awesome, even if it would be difficult to tell which team the crowd is rooting for.Matt: And I believe we both have black uniforms, haha. Except ours have a big red 'M,' so that may help.

QP: So, Miami doesn't have many big-name players. What players do you think could make a huge impact for the team at World Cup?Matt: The three names that everyone should know are Matt Mignery, Tina Kinstedt, and Connor Stonecash. Matt has really stepped up this year and been an amazing distributor and ball handler. He leads our team in scoring by magnitudes. Next we have Tina at beater, and I would easily rank her right behind Ashley Calhoun and Julie Fritz. Tina leaves it all on the field every game and is an incredible athlete. I have never seen her give less than 110 percent, and she does work on the pitch. Finally there is Connor, who is a first-year playing sophomore and beater/seeker. Connor has some raw beating talent and incredible athleticism that he's honed over the past semester, and he has really started to pick up quidditch IQ. He is also an incredible seeker and has made several clutch grabs for the team (including several game winners at Ball Brothers Brawl and Phoenix Cup). He's had a bit of trouble with an injury this semester, but he's been looking good and will be plenty healthy as we approach the Cup.

QP: I agree about Mignery and Kinstedt. They don't call her "the Tank" for nothing. I fully believe that she is every bit as good as advertised.
Matt: Definitely.

QP: Lastly, what is Miami looking forward to most about World Cup this year?
Matt: I think the chance to prove ourselves on a big stage is huge for us. We will be going to play hard and have fun. So long as we play our hardest, which I know we will, we'll have a good time.

QP: Awesome! Thank you very much for your time, Matt! Best of luck to Miami the rest of the season!
Matt: You're very welcome.

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