We sent a team of two veterans and two novices to Princeton's annual invitational, an 18-team tournament which (unfortunately) came during our fall break. We had an unfortunate start, arriving late and thus beginning a match with Johns Hopkins A on tossup 6 with a 100-point deficit (in a match which we narrowly lost, knocking us from first place in our bracket to fourth). Nonetheless, our team of Ed Cohn, Josh Miller, Ruben Juarez, and Dan Blim made the semifinals, where we lost to a Harvard team with three natural science majors on a packet with seven science tossups.
It wasn't always pretty, but we sent two teams up to Boston and won Beaver Bonspiel, MIT's annual invitational. "Swarthmore the Agony," a team composed of Ed, Josh, Rhett, and Arcadia, lost a couple close games and ended up fourth in its bracket, though it probably led the division in scoring and decisively defeated the first-place team. Then, however, we entered the playoffs with a renewed sense of determination and an unhealthy dose of Rhett's Binaca, beating Harvard A, Cornell, and Bowling Green to win the tournament. "Swarthmore the Ecstasy" -- Peter, Dan K., and Rebecca -- finished with a 3-10 record, despite playing some close matches against top teams. Adding to the team's laurels, Peter was top scorer in his division with 47 points per game.
J.W. Booth Super Mega Ultra Trash Tourn.
Our foray into the heart of Wash., DC, was a little less successful, though the team managed to soak up some experience and to make a return to the world of trash. On the plus side, Jessica was the fifth-highest scorer at the tournament, and our trip to Georgetown made this weekend the first in two years in which we were able to field three teams to one or more tournaments over a two day period.
Nittany Lion Inv. Tourn.
Despite being short a player, our team of Ed, Josh, and Dan B. journeyed to State College and fought our way to a tie for first at the end of the round robin. Our first eleven games went very well: going into the final match of the round-robin, we were the only undefeated team, and Ed was the tournament's high scorer. Then we had the half-game from hell, after which we trailed Maryland A 245-0. We led Maryland in the second half, but not by enough to win the match, and ended up in a circle of death with Maryland and Penn (whom we had defeated and led in total points and bonus conversion). We placed third by head-to-head point differential, and Ed ended up the third All-Star.
TRASH Mid-Atlantic Regionals
We had more luck at this Georgetown-based trash tournament than at the last one: this weekend, Jess, Paul, Hannah, and Rebecca played well enough to finish in the middle play-off bracket, where they won 2 of 3 games. Unfortunately, though, the tournament powers-that-be lost lots of scoresheets, making it unclear just where we finished; in all likelihood, however, we were right in the middle of an 18-team field, and Jess may well have been one of the high scorers, as she was scoring 50 points per game at one point fairly late in the tournament. Among the highlights of the tournament: Jess's 10-0 game against a Maryland team with John Nam and Arthur Fleming.
NAQT Mid-Atlantic Conferences
We sent yet another short-handed team down to GWU, where Ed, Josh, and Arcadia placed third in a field of 19 teams. We swept our preliminary bracket with an 8-0 record, beat Georgetown and Penn in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but then dropped three in a row to place third. We'd have liked our semester to end on a higher note, but considering that we were playing with only two of our top five scorers, and that the tournament emphasized pop culture, general knowledge, and speed far more than we'd have liked, we didn't do too badly in the end. Ed ended up the second-highest scorer, with over 63 points per game overall (and 71 ppg in the prelims).
J.C. Viscerra Mem. Inv. Tourn.
Ed, Josh, Peter, Arcadia, and Rebecca competed at the GWU invitational, and finished with an 8-4 record, tied for fourth (with Maryland II and UVa A), and trailing only Maryland I, Virginia Tech A, and a masters' team. In fact, if it weren't for one unfortunate problem with recognition, we'd have beaten Maryland I and made the finals. (It's a little unclear exactly where we finished, since the official tournament stats assigned us one win too many, and the tie-breakers used were never specified.)
Two teams from Swarthmore made the trip into Philadelphia for Penn Bowl, traditionally te largest invitational of the year. Swarthmore B -- Rhett, Arcadia, Rebecca, Dan B., and Ruben -- finished with only a 4-9 record, but their wins included a victory over eventual semifinalist Cornell A. Swarthmore A, meanwhile, swept its bracket with a 14-0 record, handily defeating eventual finalist South Carolina. We defeated Vanderbilt 305-135 in the octfinals, but then our luck ran out: in the quarterfinals we had to face Maryland A, one of the two best teams at the tournament (but, unfortunately for us, only the second-seed from its preliminary bracket.) Our team made a valiant effort, leading Maryland 180-115 at the game's midpoint; the second half belonged to Maryland, however, and we lost 380-195. Nevertheless, our status as the highest-ranking team to lose in the quarterfinals was good enough to give us fifth place.
NAQT Mid-Atlantic Sectionals
Playing short-handed for what we hope will be the last time this semester, Ed, Josh, and Peter traveled to UMBC to compete at NAQT's Mid-Atlantic sectional tournament. The team was asleep all morning, dropping a close game with Maryland B, and losing to Maryland A; we came alive in the afternoon, though, before a final-round loss to Virginia A (who beat us by one tossup, thereby preventing a three-way circle of death for the second finals spot). Interestingly, we scored more than 100 points per game in the afternoon than in the morning -- even though our competition was probably slightly strong in our post-lunch matches. Nevertheless, our 9-3 record was enough for fourth place; Ed was the fourth All-Star (with about 60 ppg), and Josh and Peter were the seventh and eight highest scorers at the tournament, respectively.
Ed, Josh, Peter, and Arcadia finished with a 6-6 record at ACF Regionals, finishing right in the middle of a seven-team field. We lost two games to the "Old Dudes" masters' team, two to Maryland A (one close and one not), and two to Virginia (both on the last question). Ed was the fourth highest scorer and a tournament All-Star, while Peter ended up sixth as an individual. Officially, the team therefore finished in third place, since the Old Dudes were ineligible for the championship.
Intercollegiate Championship Tourn. (NAQT)
The team set off early Friday morning for Ann Arbor, MI, to compete in this year's NAQT ICT; two days and five trips to the local Big Boy later, we return home with a trophy as the second-ranked undergrad team in the nation. We won our first four games Friday night, before losing to Maryland A by 125 and getting edged out by Carleton A (the eventual undergraduate champions) by 40 points; the second day, we played a bit erratically, slipping past 35-ranked Quincy by only 5 points, but losing to third-ranked Michigan A by the same margin. We then dropped a match to Maryland B on the last tossup, and we were beaten by Virginia A in overtime in the first match of ladder play. Nevertheless, we hung on to finish 14th overall in a powerful field of 48 teams.
We finished up the year by sending the team of Jessica Harbour and Paul Arandia to compete at TRASHionals. The team went 5-6 in the preliminary round-robin (quite respectably for a two-member team), which was good enough to make the middle playoff bracket; Jess and Paul finished around the middle of the field. What's more, Jessica scored 62 points per game, ending her Swarthmore career on a triumphant note by finishing second in scoring overall (behind only the legendary Dwight Kidder).