Friday, October 9, 2015

Coaches' Poll: Mid-Atlantic 10/9

One coach, captain, or designee from each USQ official team was asked to rank the top ten teams in their region. Points were allocated in the following manner: 10 points for a first place vote, nine points for a second place vote, eight points for a third place vote, etc. The votes have been tabulated and listed below in order of total votes. The number in parentheses indicates how many first place votes a team received.
Voters were given fewer than three days to vote; some came in after the deadline and were thus not counted. Further, during the voting period, voters from each team were still being identified. Thus while this poll provides a good basis for how each region views its teams, the lack of information available to voters and flaws with the design these results should be taken with a grain of salt. We will continue to run coaches polls throughout the season to reflect how each region views its own teams.

Photo Credit: Sofia de la Vega Photography
Maryland Quidditch (UMD) (6)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Quidditch (UNC) (3)
District of Columbia Quidditch Club (DCQC) (2)
Penn State University Nittany Lions
University of Richmond Quidditch (1)
Virginia Quidditch Club (UVA)
Villanova Community Quidditch
George Mason Club Quidditch (GMU)
Philadelphia Honey Badgers
Appalachian Apparators Quidditch (AAQ)

Others Receiving Votes: Rutgers University Quidditch (15), James Madison University Quidditch (JMU) (8), Tri-State Lightning Quidditch Club (TSLQC) (3), Lock Haven University Quidditch (LHU) (2)

Notes: 12 votes were cast.

Voters Explain Their Decisions:

Voter 1

Concerning my decision to cast first and second: Maryland was up in quaffle points and UNC had a couple lucky breaks during its first meeting, not to mention missing Steve Sleasman and Matt Angelico which likely would have put them out of range.

I think UNC and Penn State will dominate the second and third places until another team shows it can match the beating of both these teams.

DCQC is fourth because it has enough pieces to be a strong force but is missing any sort of offensive strategy and beater depth. Also, for some reason it plays zone defense against lesser teams, which slows down the game and allows the teams to stay within range.

Villanova and Richmond are always strong programs, so I voted them as fifth and sixth, and although they have some gaps to fill because of graduates, they will bounce back strong as always. Richmond will also be getting its captain Bo O’Connor back in the coming weeks, which will solve some depth issues in the chaser game.

Despite some big losses in personnel for UVA in Brian Stanley, Michael Dong, and recently Shawn Zamperini, it has a structured defense that will keep it in games. Devon Rea has stepped up to fill the hole left by Stanley.

Appalachian looked rough at its first unofficial tournament early in September but with the numbers that it has and the clutch win over DCQC, the Apparators are still a strong team when they come together as one unit.

JMU has emerged from seemingly nowhere, but the team has actually been playing unofficially for almost four years now and has a depth of athletes to prove it. JMU has started out strong this year at 3-0, and I think they edge out a GMU team that has already shown a very unstable and fluctuating offense and defense this year.

Voter 2

I compiled my rankings as if the regional championship were to be played tomorrow. My perceptions of teams have been influenced mostly by what I've seen in person at Turtle Cup V and the Jim Mitchell Memorial Quidditch Kickoff, followed by video, scores, and finally the teams performance and player losses from the end of last season. Maryland may have lost to UNC at Turtle Cup, but I have them ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively. It was an equal game on all counts, with UNC catching the snitch that day. If the two were to play tomorrow, I believe Maryland takes the game. DCQC has all the reason to compete equally with Maryland and UNC. Its play at Turtle Cup, while physical, showed a lack of chemistry between teammates. DCQC’s talent securely places it at No. 3, but DCQC is not on Maryland and UNC’s level yet. Spots 4-7 are arguably interchangeable given the day. I think Penn State has the highest upside, given the roster it is supposedly returning and the best chance at beating one of the top three. Hard to say, given they have not played yet. Virginia played shorthanded at Turtle Cup and it showed. With its starting beater back, it is a much better team. Richmond struggled at Jim Mitchell but had a much improved performance at Turtle Cup. GMU has had some clutch snitch grabs so far this year, but is trending down after its performance at Turtle Cup. The Honey Badgers impressed at Turtle Cup. With some new players, and a budding chemistry, the Honey Badgers have plenty of potential. JMU beat up on some lower tier teams. Interested to see how it will perform against tougher competition.

Voter 3

Being pre-season rankings, I ranked teams that have not played yet.

1. UNC finally beat UMD and totally wrecked the other teams in the MA. While it lost Max Miceli and Andrew McGregor, I think this allows it to finally grow into its own. It has the most to lose though, being at No. 1.

2. Penn State: I'm biased, but with only one major graduation, and a great second half of the season last year, Penn State is poised to take the region. The team is largely unchanged, which allows for more development of strategy, and it beat UNC right before World Cup last year.

3. Maryland will be tough to beat because it still recruits great athletes, has depth, and knows how to win. I think Maryland’s major loss in leadership will hurt it more than it cares to admit. But not having Harry Greenhouse, the only one who played too much on the field, gives them room to grow similarly to UNC.

4. Virginia still fits the scrappy mold it had last year. It is no longer a silent contender in the region though, with its past two years of prominence. Virginia’s size will be its downfall as it faces off against larger sized teams.

5. DCQC has a revamped roster, a new image, and a fighting chance. But it is trying to take B-level, old talent and use that to hold up its one or two shining stars. Miceli may have seemed to do all the work at UNC, but he will actually do it all in DC. DCQC is on the up though.

6. Richmond has lost some really great female talent, which was one of its strong suits. But it somehow manages to turn seemingly non-athletes into decent quidditch players. In a top-heavy region, this will land it near bottom of the top tier if it pulls it all together and plays difficult teams enough.

7. Villanova has been on the decline for a while now. And while I want to blame a lot of it on the lack of support from its school and community, it has to do with retention, going to more competitive tournaments, and most importantly consistency. Finally Villanova seems to have turned the page from its first generation roster and I think the new Villanova will do well without its old guard.

8. GMU continues to make strides, especially despite the deep roster like most other established programs. In a short amount of time it has gone from the bottom of the pack to fighting it. Adding more detail to its game will make the team even harder to defeat, but it needs to hope it does not lose games through its own actions.

9. The Honey Badgers surprised me at Turtle Cup, but I should not be surprised considering they have new leadership, new talent, and a talent pool. They finally have recruiting power and draw to their team. With players that don't just play at pick-ups, they actually pose a threat to the top teams if they let their guard down.

10. Appalachian State has the raw athleticism to make waves, but has yet to see any serious strategical advances, which makes any smart team able to beat it. I think this is the year it uses its beaters more and starts wising up.

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