Monday, March 2, 2015

80 in 80: Wizards of Westwood

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 Badal Chandra, captain/coach of the Wizards of Westwood (WoW).

Photo by Sofia de la Vega Photography

QP: The Wizards of Westwood have really grown as a program over the last year and have now qualified for their second World Cup. What has been the biggest factor in the team's growth?
Badal: I reckon Wizards has grown from a primarily freshman player lineup with no experience last year to one that's got a year's worth of experience, including World Cup VII. This year, players have taken their experience and changed their tone of play from one of learning to one of competing. I think that spirit clicked for us at Western Cup, and you could see it out there on the pitch, and that led us to a qualification spot.

Our beaters have really stepped up their game, playing smarter and faster, allowing our chaser plays to develop.

QP: Are there any players who you would say are key to the team's success?
Badal: I think it was a collaborative effort and push from the full roster of 21, but of course there were some standout performances, most notably from our chasers in the pace and agility with Eric Adar Carver and Kariz Alberto, the solid point defense from Christian Krieger, and strong charging from Sean Rohtla.  Our beaters were absolutely on point, and they’re led by Lauren Fitzgibbon. I'd say that nobody is a star beater, but a huge key to our success is that there is no beater who ISN'T at the same level. This leads to consistency and eventually success from our beater lineup. And not to pat myself on the back, but I reckon I had a good tournament seeking. All our new players showed great promise and dedication, which makes me very happy and hopeful for World Cup.

QP: How would you describe WoW's style of play?
Badal: Our style of play is passing-oriented with support from the beaters and looking for the best offensive clear fast break or drive. Speed is our big advantage; we're able to outspeed most of our games by being more agile than the other team. Our defense is heavy set on beaters stepping point and shutting it down, with chasers forcing a pass on point.

QP: How will you be preparing for World Cup?
Badal: Of course we plan on working on our weaknesses and improving the technical, strategy-related kinks in our game so we can push ourselves and do well in the Swiss Style bracket. 

QP: Are there particular teams that you hope to get the opportunity to play?
Badal: When it comes to teams we'd love to play, I think a matchup against the very lovely Long Beach Funky Quaffles would be one that our team would love to play. They’re both friends of Wizards and a very solid team. A rematch with Texas Tech University from last year, a game we took to overtime, would be one we'd love to win this time around. Other than that, I think our team is just yearning to play hard-fought competitive games with teams of our level, which the Swiss Style setup of World Cup will really help us with.

QP: Any goals for World Cup?
Badal: I want my team to go out there and play good quidditch. That's the biggest thing. When we look back, I want us to be proud of the way we played in South Carolina. Last year, we came really close to winning a game, so one of our biggest goals will be to win a few games this year.

QP: Thanks, Badal; we appreciate your time.

No comments:

Post a Comment