April 5-6, 2014
North Myrtle Beach, SC

University of Texas Tops Baylor; Advances to Semifinals

By Jack thePhan,

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Although the crowds flocked to field one for the Texas A&M University-Lone Star Quidditch Club match, on the other side of North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, the No. 1 seeded University of Texas (UT) prepared to face regional rivals, No. 8 Baylor University. In an intense game where the momentum swung back and forth, Texas triumphed over Baylor by a score of 110*-40, keeping its title defense alive.

In what would turn out to be one of the game’s most pivotal plays, Baylor beater David Gilbert exited the game with an injury on brooms up and Texas exploded for five goals, all from different players. With complete domination of the half court game, UT annihilated Baylor’s famous zone defense without Gilbert on the pitch. To stop the bleeding, Gilbert re-entered the game, regained bludger control and prevented UT from driving straight through the helpless Baylor chaser defense. As a result, UT was forced to pass in the half court and the match began to resemble the Diamond Cup semifinals, where Baylor destroyed Texas. Baylor keeper Jacob Bruner and chaser Trent Miller were able to score twice on the fast break, bringing the score to 50-30. Texas scored once more before the snitch returned to pitch.

With the snitch on the pitch, Gilbert subbed out and Baylor’s male beaters shifted to guard the snitch from UT’s efficient seeking corps. At first, the move didn’t hurt Baylor. Bruner drove the length of the pitch with multiple UT defenders attempting tackles before dumping the ball off to Beissy Sandoval for a goal. The goal brought the score to 60-40, putting Baylor in position for a game winning snatch. However, despite the valiant efforts of Baylor beater Brittany Ripperger, the absence of Baylor’s male beater in the zone defense allowed for Texas to score two key goals, knocking Baylor out of snitch range. With his team up 40 points, Kenny Chilton, who caught clutch snitches against UCLA and Texas A&M at World Cup VII, punched Texas’ return ticket to the Final Four.

Texas will play No. 5 seeded Texas A&M next on field one in the first semifinal game.

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Photos by Megan Atkinson