Friday, November 13, 2015

Mid-Atlantic Coaches Poll Nov. 13, 2015

One coach, captain, or designee from each USQ official team in the Mid-Atlantic region was asked to rank the Top 10 teams in their region. Points were allocated in the following manner: ten 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.
Great Lakes

Maryland Quidditch (6) (UMD)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Quidditch (UNC)
District of Columbia Quidditch Club (DCQC)
Penn State University Nittany Lions (PSU)
University of Richmond Quidditch
Virginia Quidditch Club (UVA)
George Mason Club Quidditch (GMU)
Philadelphia Honey Badgers (PHB)
Appalachian Apparators Quidditch
Lock Haven University Quidditch (LHU)
Dropped From Rankings: Villanova Community Quidditch Others Receiving Votes: Rutgers University Quidditch (5), Virginia Tech (5), Tri-State Lightning Quidditch Club (4), James Madison University Quidditch (2), Wilmington Warhawks (1) Voters: Bruce Donnelly (Tri-State Lightning), Scott Axel (PSU), Robby May (George Mason), Benjamin Strauss (Appalachian Apparators), Lee Hodge (UNC), John Bridstrup (Philadelphia Honey Badgers), Brendan O’Connor (Richmond), Arvind Kumar (Duke), and Erik Morlock (Virginia) Representatives from other teams were contacted but did not respond by the deadline. If your team did not vote and would like to participate in subsequent polls, please contact the Quidditch Post at Notes: Ten votes were cast. One was rejected for lack of impartiality. Voters Explain Their Choices: Anonymous Voter 1 1. UMD proved at Oktoberfest that it can adapt strategically and it is still the force to be reckoned with in the Mid-Atlantic. 2. UNC has not been tested since Turtle Cup V, but has beat up on smaller teams. Unless someone can match Kyle Bullins in the beating game, the team will be competing against UMD for the title. 3. DCQC. The talent alone keeps the team at No. 3. With its big names, the team has yet to put it all together and dominate teams. The team still managed a solid showing at Keystone Cup II without Darren Creary, but is still a level below UMD and UNC. Spots four through six are a toss-up. 4. PSU looked a little rusty at the Penn State Nittany Invitational but showed physicality and aggressiveness in the chaser game. Its seeking game allowed the team to edge out close wins. That puts PSU above the rest in my mind. 5. Richmond has steadily improved over the season, seen by its victory over PSU at the Nittany Invitational. Just how competitive the team can be against the top teams remains to be seen. 6. UVA has had some good wins and some disappointing losses so far this season. Injuries have taken a toll. The team has had a tendency in the past to play to the level of its competition. Not sure what to expect from UVA at regionals. 7. GMU struggled at both Keystone and Turtle Cup but the talent is there. A tough draw as a pot three team makes things difficult but the team should still qualify. 8. The Honey Badgers have proven they can stick around with higher ranked teams for the majority of games. The team is no pushover and should be able to secure a bid rather comfortably. Spots nine through 10 were the most difficult to peg as most of the lower-tiered teams left have not played much against the middle and upper tiers. 9. The Appalachian Apparators have some good out-of-region experience at Super Ball Brothers Brawl. The team is not as deep as it was in past years, but the team’s experience playing better and competitive teams gives it an advantage over others. 10. I was between JMU and Virginia Tech for the final spot. Neither has played enough competitive teams to know where they stand. JMU has some height and physical players that I think will give it the edge. Anonymous Voter 2 1. UMD with its beater play win against Rochester United (RU) forces me to put them here to repeat its title run. 2. UNC has arguably the best beater in the region with Kyle Bullins, and the team’s chaser game seems to be improving strategically with UNC no longer able to rely on Max Miceli and Andrew McGregor. 3. DCQC probably has the best chaser depth and the most physically imposing player Darren Creary in the region. If its beater game can step up then the team will make a push for the championship no doubt. 4. PSU had some rust to clean off at the Nittany Invitational but it will be a very strong team this year. The team followed their pool play loss with a bracket win over Richmond, which is why I have the Lions over the Spiders. 5. Richmond plays with finesse, which can be difficult for many teams to handle, but requires a lot of patience. Jeff Noble can put up points, though, when the team’s passing gives him space to shoot. 6. The Honey Badgers need to prove they are competitive. The team has lost out of range to UMD, DCQC, and Richmond, but was in snitch range against PSU and was playing well against Rochester United until the fatigue of the day and injuries finally took their toll. The Honey Badgers are second only to RU in games played so that experience should help a lot at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. 7. I admittedly have not seen much of UVA, but it is one of those teams that is sneaky good, even great. The team can over-pass occasionally but when its working it can really frustrate defenses. 8. GMU is benefitting from a number of its players getting experience playing in MLQ over the summer, and Cory Apple” Apps can be a bowling ball offensively and defensively when he gets going. GMU has the potential to sneak up in the bracket. 9. LHU has improved a lot since last season, but it really needs to come out with a more cohesive strategy on offense and get its chasers finishing plays. The team misses opportunities left and right, and if it can convert even half of those, the team will be a sure bet to qualify for US Quidditch Cup 9. 10. This last spot is a toss-up. I think Tri-State Lightning has the potential to sneak into US Quidditch Cup 9, provided it gets its full roster practiced and some kinks ironed out. Honorable mentions: Rutgers, JMU, and Virginia Tech Anonymous Voter 3 1. UNC. It’s hard to argue with what the team’s done throughout the season so far, plus the carry-over from last season. 2. DCQC. With the improvement of the team’s quaffle carrying and the improvement of its beating, the team is only going to be improving. 3. Maryland. This team is the torch-bearer, and the new version of the team is coming together rapidly. 4. GMU. Beating controls a game; there’s no question about that. 5. UVA. Its results since Turtle Cup show that last year wasn't a fluke. 6. PHB. The team has beaten the teams they've had to beat, mostly, and given the better teams good games. 7. Richmond. It is a good all-around team, and it has managed to make a game of its harder match ups. 8. Tri-State Lightning. The team gave each team ahead of it that it has faced a solid game with a noticeably limited roster. 9. LHU. The team has the clear potential, but leaves too many questions at the end of games. 10. Appalachian Apparators. It has a big win, albeit unofficial, over DCQC, but has only really done a lot of beating up on other Carolina teams. Anonymous Voter 4 1-3. UMD, UNC, and DCQC are experienced programs that all have the depth and rosters to make a run at the title. Outside of these three teams, I see potential for a run to the finals by some of the other ranked teams, but not enough depth to win in the finals. 4-5. Penn State and Richmond traded games recently at the Nittany Invitational and if they face each other again, the game could go either way. Penn State did well clearing driving lanes to utilize its physical advantage during the first 18 minutes of Penn State’s win, but Richmond’s beaters had outstanding snitch-on-pitch beating that, with better seeking, should have won the team the game. 6. UVA is missing some key players from its Sweet 16 team last year and an old zone defense that top teams in the region have figured out how to beat. Regardless, less patient and composed offenses will still struggle against the zone, and UVA still has the offense that puts it as my No. 6 in the region. 7. PHB runs its offense primarily and effectively through John Bridstrup. Recently, Jason Rosenberg has been seen beating, which is probably where the team has the least amount of depth and could be a good move to benefit PHB at the regional championship. With its Captain Alvin Arnold out with a broken ankle, I have the team ranked seventh, but I would not be surprised if Bridstrup finds a way to lead the team into a semifinals showing at the regional championship. 8-9. Lock Haven and the Appalachian Apparators are very different teams but would be interesting to see play each other. Lock Haven seems to have a neverending pool of athletes to draw from at its school but the team is lacking strategy and passing precision to truly compete with the teams above it. The Apparators are more well-rounded as a team but have less of the athletic raw talent that LHU has. Both should be capable of securing a bid pending any unfortunate circumstances. 10. N/A

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