QC Pittsburgh Eyes the US Quidditch Cup!
Founded over nine years ago, the Quidditch Club of Pittsburgh has a great deal of history but recently not so much success. The last time the team made it to the US Quidditch Cup, the pinnacle of the US quidditch season, was in 2014 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at what was then called the World Cup, where it was eliminated in the group stages. Since then, the team has failed to qualify to reach this stage.
This year, though, the team hopes to put its cold streak to an end and return to the national stage. The team is able to qualify through the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, but only a few of the top teams will win the chance to perform at the Cup itself. With the main season starting up soon after the summer break, Pittsburgh will be focused on achieving a high position and a bid for the US Cup.
For many Pittsburgh players, though, the goal of winning isn’t the only reason to play. Senior captain Emma Stilwell describes the joy of getting to know new players over the season and becoming a cohesive unit.
There are some chasers that I’ve played with since I was a freshman, so we kind of know each other like that, and same with the beaters. You get to know each other’s playing style.
Quidditch teams may work together toward a common goal, but for Ashley Cipcic, a Chaser, it’s the Chasing unit within the team that makes the sport so exciting.
I love chasing. I love being part of a small unit where we all work together and try to do different strategies to score goals, and it’s just an exhilarating position. I love the feeling of running up and down the court and passing the balls through people and just working as a team.
Despite the positive attitude, the team is facing a decline in membership. However, Stilwell isn’t worried that this will hurt the team’s performance.
The last year was probably our smallest. But the people who are dedicated are really dedicated, and we got some really good freshmen, so it balances out. We’re really trying to get our numbers up this year.
Pittsburgh’s decline belies the general growth of the sport throughout the world. One former Pitts Chaser and Captain, Chandler Larkin, has watched as the sport has exploded in popularity and steadily grown more serious.
Quidditch as a whole became a lot more competitive. Gradually, you would see teams start to develop strategy. So as other teams started to get better and more strategic with everything we did, we pretty much were forced to follow that trend.
Win or lose, Stilwell loves the sport for the simple pleasure of playing.
It’s fast-paced, running around, cheering each other on, yelling for Pitt. It’s just such a fun game to play!
This year, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship will take place on November 3–4, at Troy Park in Elkridge, Maryland.
You can check out some of QC Pittsburgh’s moves in the video below!
Inspired to find out more? Head along to their open practice on September 2!