The Eastern Michigan University Flying Squirrels Quidditch team came in third place at their first tournament of the season against Bowling Green State University.
The Flying Squirrels were also able to pick up two upset victories against Big Ten conference schools, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers.
The Squirrels opened the tournament against Ashlin College with seven goals. The team had several clutch snitch catches on the day and as a result, got crucial wins against both Ohio State and Purdue.
Sophomore chaser Chris Crile was excited at the team’s performance.
“It just feels really good to know we can play big conference teams like them, that have such a big poll and student body, to know we can go on the field against big schools like them and beat them like that feels really good,” Crile said.
“We had a tough double overtime loss to Bowling Green State and lost to University of Michigan, who were the two teams who placed ahead of us in the tournament,” he said. ”They are two of the top five teams in the nation and we played them as best as we could.”
The International Quidditch Association compiles rankings of schools in the nation and also sets the pools and brackets for the World Cup, which will be held in Florida this year.
Though the first official rankings for this season have yet to be posted, Crile believes the Flying Squirrels will be ranked in the top 25.
“Both Ohio State and Purdue were top ranked teams and those upsets should put us in at least the top 15 in the nation,” Crile said.
Freshman player, Tom Zies, is excited about the future of the team.
“I heard about the team from Chris [Crile] and it just sounded like a lot of fun. We all need to work on things individually to get better,” Zies said. “I am really excited about the future of the sport, it’s a really great time and I hope maybe someday it could be in the Olympics someday but who knows.”
Senior beater, Bri Prichard, is proud of how good the team has been early in the season.
“It feels really great, I am just excited at the potential that we have for this season,” he said.
“We had a lot of freshman who were playing in their first
tournament so they are going to keep getting better. We need to become more aware and in sync on the field, but we got a good team and the goal is to make it to the World Cup. The best part is I get to spend all day hitting people with dodge balls,” Prichard said.
The Flying Squirrels’ next tournament will be Oct. 28 in Ann Arbor hosted by the University of Michigan.
“We will be facing the Down River Dragons and the Jet Pack Ninjas. We have to keep doing well in tournaments so we get in a good pool for the World Cup,” Crile said.