2014-15 Quiz Bowl Season Preview: Part Four

Next part: teams that were 162 through 170 (Santa Monica B is being saved, of course).

170. Westside A (TX) – Westside was a team that started the season with a mixed performance at the TQBA Varsity Kickoff, showed up at the Houston Holiday Hoedown and drastically improved their PPB – though still struggling to win many games, in part due to a tough schedule. And then they didn’t play again. It appears they lots 3/4 of their A team, so this unfortunately has to go down as a bit of a missed opportunity.

Expected performance next season: down

169. Crystal Springs Uplands A (CA) – This was a very evenly distributed team last year in terms of individual scoring, and they went 5-5 at HSNCT. They return their top two scorers from that performance and two of their top three scorers from their best regular season aPPB at the California Cup. The difficulty of basing this off aPPB is it’s not clear if they’ll be able to cover the points they lose from the graduation of Andrew and Elliot (this comment can be applied to a lot of the teams on this list). It’s certainly possible they’ll improve off their HSNCT record

Expected performance next season: slightly down

168. Pingry A (NJ) – After a season with its share of ups and downs, Pingry peaked with an 8th place finish at the NAQT New Jersey State Championship. They return 3/4 of their roster, including lead scorer Andrew Verdesca, and only lose Neeraj Shekhar (who is certainly a good player).

Expected performance next season: up

167. Albany A (CA) – In their first full season in quiz bowl, Albany performed well, finishing second in two separate JV tournaments of the California Cup. While they return Benson Yi, they do lose two of their starters in Catherine Li and Lucas Kampman. I don’t see them collapsing, but I also think they might have a hard time replacing two key players and still taking a major step forward.

Expected performance next season: sideways

166. New Kent A (VA) – New Kent is in something of a “good news, bad news” situation going forward. After a season that included a fifth place finish at the collaborative VCU and University of Virginia tournament, they return 3/4 of their team, including lead scorer David Bushhouse. But they do lose Nadege Labert, a very capable 1A to Bushhouse. I expect this team will go up some, but their ability to replace Labert and improve as a squad is a big question.

Expected performance next season: up

165. Dublin Jerome A (OH) – Another team that really made its “good quiz bowl” debut in 2013-14, they managed an impressive tied for ninth finish at the NAQT Ohio State Championship. This was a team that depended heavily upon Roger Jin, though, and with his graduation, they lack a clear plan going forward to maintain a strong level. You certainly hope a new program like this sticks with quiz bwol, though.

Expected performance next season: down

164. Edmond Memorial A (OK) – A regular presence on the Oklahoma circuit, this was likely their best season in ten years. Champions at the Oklahoma LIST mirror and the Cougar Invitational, they never finished lower than third during the regular season. While a cynic would point out that the Oklahoma circuit isn’t known for its deep strength, they still put up very solid numbers and nearly made the HSNCT playoffs, with close matches against Hoover B and Dorman B being the difference there. They return 3/4 of their team from the NAQT State Championship, which includes the vast majority of their scoring from Finn Bender. Things look promising next year; hopefully the Oklahoma circuit expands and includes some non-NAQT events to help that happen.

Expected performance next season: up

163. MAST A (NJ) – MAST put together a strong season in a deep New Jersey circuit, including a second place finish at the Mountain Lakes Invitational, and punctuated it with a HSNCT playoff appearance. But with everyone graduating, the outlook for next year looks intimidating.

Expected performance next season: down

162. Mira Loma A (CA) – Champions at the Sacramento Fall Tournament and BELLAFONTE, and second at the Sacramento Winter Tournament, this is another team that has lost almost all of their scoring. If they’ve developed strong reserves, they can appear here next year, but it’s never a great start when you’re in this situation.

Expected performance next season: down

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