As tight-knit as a Weasley sweater

, Beacon Staff/strong

Harry Potter wasn’t around to save the day after the Emerson College Quidditch World Cup team flew their way into the quarter finals, but fell short of snagging the Snitch to move them to the semi-finals. The loss, however, didn’t dampen the spirits of the high-flying athletes who reveled in their team camaraderie.

The Quidditch World Cup, held on Randall’s Island in New York City this past weekend, was home to 100 teams, and over 2,000 athletes, all of whom were seeking the grand prize and recognition of the World Cup. What began four years ago at Middlebury College has since reached 27 states and at least two other countries, according to the official World Cup website.

Emerson was faced with some challenges, however, as well as different management problems within the International Quidditch Association (IQA), which hindered their ability to move forward in the tournament.

Last year, Emerson made it to the top five while this year, ECQ finished in the top 16.

“The competition was a lot harder this year,” said Max Blaushild, a junior political communication major and captain of Emerson Cup Quidditch (ECQ). “We saw a lot of strong teams from parts of the country that weren’t even represented last year.”

The team self-funded the trip from Boston to New York by hosting parties on weekends, date auctions, and with help from family and friends. They were able to raise about $1,000 from each event and paid about $5 out of pocket to cover the rest, said Blaushild.

The costs included one 15-person bus for the players, a charter bus for fans, and additional necessities throughout the weekend.

While Emerson Quidditch receives no money from the school itself, it has the endless support of fans and team moms to help them along the way, Blaushild said.

“We stayed at one of our player’s houses in New Jersey [for the World Cup],” Blaushild said. “The team moms left before us so they had dinner ready when we got there — we had spaghetti and meatballs.”

Once they geared up and reached the island early Saturday morning, the ECQ kicked off the ground with full force as they completed the day undefeated against four teams including Penn State University, University of Richmond, Ohio State University, and University of Victoria.

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“We did pretty well,” said Benny Nadeau, a writing, literature, and publishing major as well as Chaser and Seeker on the team. “I think the reason we did so well is because of our team unity.”

Nadeau and fellow teammate Carlyle Thome, a freshman visual and media arts major and Chaser and Keeper, agreed that the team connection is undeniable, something that helps both on and off the field.

“It’s more than just a team,” said Thome. “We all get along really well; that makes it easier for us to gel as a team when we’re playing, too.”

Though cohesiveness on ECQ made a difference at the Cup tournament, it wasn’t enough to pull them through the second day. The problems the team had were with the lack of organization at the event.

“There was a bit of a logistics snafu,” Blaushild said. “The IQA bit off a little bit more than they could chew with the tournament.”

It took ECQ until about 4 p.m. to find out who they were playing after a long day of waiting and many delayed games. Even with a lack of referees present Sunday afternoon, they played a close game against University of South Florida (USF), but in the end lost by ten points when USF was able to grab the Snitch.

The tournament upped the participants this year, which in turn left room for a few misunderstandings throughout the competition.

“This tournament was twice as big as last year,” Blaushild said. “It was a big leap, the IQA put in a lot of work, and we are definitely grateful for what they did.”

Thomes was well aware of the lack of organization at times but, like Blaushild, found it hard to put the blame on referees.

“All the refs were volunteers — you can’t expect them to be perfect,” Thomes said in a phone interview. “There were a few bumps in the whole program, but overall, you have to give the IQA props.”

The disappointment of losing the second day was apparent among teammates as they headed back to Emerson at the end of the weekend, but Nadeau remains positive.

“World Cup weekends are always some of my favorite moments, year in and year out,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s really an honor to get to go through a whole weekend with the team.”

emBogert can be reached at/emem jamie_bogert@emerson.edu. /ememFollow her on Twitter @J_Bogert/em