SFU Quidditch falls just short of top spot in Western Canada

Alec Boom leads a rush for SFU against the University of Victoria

A roller-coaster weekend for SFU Quidditch had the potential for a fairy tale ending — but just like the golden snitch, it slipped through their fingers at the last minute.

After winning in sudden-death double overtime to clinch their spot in the finals for the Western Regionals for Quidditch Canada, SFU lost by a score of 60*–40 to the Alberta Clippers, who defended their title having won last year as well. (Asterisk denotes which team caught the snitch.)

SFU was up 40–30, but Clippers seeker Fraser Duff was able to give Alberta the win. 

The regionals, held this year in Abbotsford on Feb. 27 and 28, featured the two aforementioned teams as well as the University of Victoria Valkyries, Calgary Mudbloods, and Vancouver Vipertooths. The Winnipeg Whomping Willows was unable to make the travel out west.

Despite only coming in second, team captain James Champion was happy with how the team played, and considered the weekend as a whole to be another good step for a team emerging as a constant threat in their league. 

“I feel like we’re a bigger player on the [Quidditch Canada] stage and that we’re a team to beat rather than just another team,” said Champion. “I think we’ve risen in the eyes of other teams just as much as our own eyes.”

This is not the same team that saw players defect to the University of British Columbia (who plays in the United States Quidditch league) at the beginning of the year to play for a better team. They feel like they’ve grown into a strong contender; just ask chaser Raunaq Singh.

“I feel like we’re a bigger player on the [Quidditch Canada] stage and that we’re a team to beat.”

“The team has immensely evolved as a unit since the beginning of the year,” said Singh. “This tournament was certainly our best so far. What I am really excited about is where we go on from this point onwards into the future.”

SFU would split their games on the first day, storming out to a 140*–10 victory over the Valkyries, but losing their round-robin match against Alberta by a score of 130*–70 in overtime. SFU was up in that game 70–10, but ended up getting cocky and fell apart and the Clippers roared back.

Their next day saw them take a decisive 120–70* victory over the Vancouver Vipertooths to set the stage for their final match against Calgary. Both teams entered the game with a 2–1 record, meaning that whoever won would face Alberta in the finals.

Jitters played a role for the inexperienced SFU squad, who was lucky enough to hang around and force a first overtime with the score tied at 90–90. The teams would trade one goal each during the first overtime, which sent them to the sudden-death second overtime.

With all eyes of team captain and offensive catalyst James Champion, he drew the Mudbloods to him which left chaser Janet Li wide open beside the hoops, who Champion was able to shovel the quaffle to leaving Li to immediately shove the ball through, setting up the finals.

Despite the heartbreak of the finals, SFU came into the weekend with a goal to send a message to the rest of Quidditch Canada that their recent run of success wasn’t a fluke, and they could perform on the regional stage as well. To that end, Champion was satisfied.

“I was really proud of the way we worked together and applied what we’d worked,” said Champion. “We were relentless when we had to be and big moments didn’t faze us.”

Disclaimer: Nathan Ross is a member of the SFU Quidditch team.