Thursday, March 19, 2015

80 in 80: Western Washington Wyverns

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 Nicole Jackson, head coach and captain of the Western Washington Wyverns (WWU).

Photo by Becky Campbell

Quidditch Post: It’s your first year as an official team and as a region, and it’s your first World Cup berth. What does it mean to Western Washington to be going to World Cup?
Nicole: It means everything to us. It gives us the chance to show the rest of the country what we're made of and to prove that the Northwest doesn't take being a region lightly. Sure, it's our first year, but we're just as passionate and dedicated as everyone else. It gives us a chance to play quidditch against teams we've never played before, which is going to be an incredible, exciting experience for us as a team.

QP: Are there particular teams you'd like to face at World Cup?
Nicole: Not really. We're just excited to get out there and play.

QP: Your team has one of the longest trips to make; how long will it take to get from Bellingham, Washington to Rock Hill, South Carolina?
Nicole: I think it's going to take us about 10 hours, if I remember the flight information correctly. And that's just on the planethat doesn't count ground travel time getting to the airport!

QP: What are your goals for World Cup?
Nicole: Honestly, our goals are just to play as best as we can. It'd be fantastic to break top 40 too, though, which I think we can do.

QP: What will it take to get to the top 40?
Nicole: I honestly think we can do it. We play a smart game, we play a solid game, and we play with everything we have. Our chaser team knows how to weave in and out of other players with a surprising ease, and our beaters won't take no for an answer. I think that avoiding injuries and hopefully reviving the sprained ankle of our seeker will be our biggest hurdle.

QP: Who would you say are some of your team’s key players?
Nicole: We all work really well together as a team, but we definitely have some key players. Jake Ronhaar has been with the team for years and is one of our highest scorers, and Jacob Keith is like lightning on the field. Drew Sutorius as a keeper is incredibly strategic and places himself well on the pitch. Our beater team is anchored by Alex Ramsey, who even with an injured knee is a force to be reckoned with, and Matt Nagel's offensive beating is awesome to see.

QP: You alluded to your seeker, Sam Seid's, injury. Will he be able to play at World Cup?
Nicole: We're not sure yet. We really hope so! He's taking it easy and hopefully by April he'll be all healed up.

QP: Would you say WWU has a particular style of play?
Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. We don't play as aggressive as other teams tend towe play a smarter game than that. I guess I would say that a lot of quidditch teams I've observed play like rugby players, but we play more like soccer players. We play a more strategic game than teams I've watched.

QP: What are you and the team most looking forward to about World Cup?
Nicole: Honestly, I'm looking forward to the experience as a whole. It will be such an amazing, unique, and wonderful opportunity for us to participate in something so big as World Cup!

QP: Is there anything else you think our readers should know about WWU?
Nicole: I think that people should know that, sure, we're a "new" team, but we've been playing for four years. Yes, we haven't traveled out of the region very much, but we're a beautifully diverse group of athletes, and we're here to show you what we're made of. WWU is a passionate team, a hilarious team, and a competitive team. We're so excited for World Cup and to play some awesome quidditch!

QP: Thanks, Nicole; we appreciate it.
Nicole: No problem!

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