‘Surviving and thriving’: Quidditch team prepares for Consolation Cup


USI Photo Services

Lauren Maurer (middle), a senior chaser on the quidditch team, makes her way down the field with the quaffle as Kara Kanzler follows behind. The two competed with the team in its second-annual Eagle Cup, a tournament hosted by the university.

Keller Stevens knows every angle of quidditch.

He joined the team as a player, became a captain and now, after graduating from USI, co-coaches the team.

“Speaking captain” was a lot of fun, he said. This role is appointed to a member of the team who speaks to referees and officials during tournaments or matches.

The team will head to Texas for Consolation Cup

April 1, the alternative for teams who missed the U.S. Quidditch national tournament bid.

The university team narrowly missed qualifying by one game.

Stevens said this tournament is a huge step for the team.

It will be the largest tournament the team has competed in and the first with international teams.

“We have very talented new players every year,” he said. “(We’re) happy to see how far we’ve come since 2011.”

When Stevens joined the team three years ago, the team had never held its own tournament and it didn’t go as smoothly as he’d hoped his second year.

“We had a handful of teams come, it was kind of chaotic,” Stevens said. “I didn’t have any training on how to set up the tournament.”

The team recently held its second annual Eagle Cup and welcomed teams from Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri.

“The home tournament went so, so perfectly,” he said. “We couldn’t have asked for any better.”

Quidditch tournaments are known for running late, Stevens said, but the univer- sities actually ran ahead of schedule.

The team was able to invite more teams this year because it created connec- tions in previous tourna- ments.

“It means a lot for us to be able to host a tournament…,” Stevens said. “It means that we are still one of those teams who are sur- viving and thriving.”

Kara Kanzler, a dental hygiene major, said the the tournament was cold and rainy, but fun.

“We all had uplifting spirits,” she said. “Even if you don’t win, it’s fun to get out there and play and meet new people.”

She said throughout traveling to other tournaments, the team marketed themselves more. This helped tournaments held on campus draw more people and make the name itself more well known.

“We always want to win…,” she said. “Our main goal is to have fun out there. That’s why I joined. I didn’t join just to beat everybody.”

Kanzler joined the team her freshman year after coming across the quidditch table at an information fair.

She had read all of the Harry Potter books and watched all of the movies and knew it would be different from that portrayal.

“Whenever I was signing up, they were like one of our players almost broke his spine,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is an actual sport.’”

Still, Kanzler said she didn’t expect quidditch to be quite as contact oriented as it was.

“It’s kind of like my first college experience,” she said.“I met a lot of my friends through quidditch.”