By Eric Andres, Guest Writer

So far, US Quidditch Cup 9 hasn’t disappointed with the level of talent, intensity and spirit throughout Saturday’s gameplay. Preparation for the sport’s highest level of competition may seem straightforward every year, but each team’s #MyQuidCupJourney is an integral part to their philosophy and work ethic. The veteran University of British Columbia Thunderbirds have committed years to competing with the best U.S. teams. UBC Chaser Elizabeth Benoy has been looking forward to proving that they’re still a USQ-level team, given that they outstretched California State Berkeley in overtime.

“We can compete with the best,” says Benoy. “So far, I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

With old teams come the new, as Utah State Quidditch Club makes their first appearance on the national stage after a roller coaster of a first season.

“Our biggest focus was fundraising at first,” says chaser Sierra Whipple-Padgen. Many times, USQ teams find the monolith task of raising travel funds to be their biggest competition. However, USQC mounted an enormous effort that resulted in $10,000 over four weeks of fundraising. On Saturday, Utah State defeated one of the oldest opponents in quidditch. But once you pay your way, is it worth it?

“This is amazing, I absolutely love it.” says Whipple-Padgen, inspired to find how friendly the community was. Citing unknown players from teams on the other side of the country walking right up and complementing her play, she knows how supportive it can be. “It’s incredible. I love it. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”

Whether they’re coming from a legacy program or a brand new institution, quidditch teams know that sacrifice and hard work pay off in big ways. Keep following #MyQuidCupJourney for more thrilling accounts of what it takes to make it to nationals and succeed, no matter the score.

Photo by Jessica Lang.