By JUSTIN M. NGUYEN
Freshman Danielle Grise ran down the field holding the volleyball in her hand, feet from the hoops that would score the Half-Blood Huskies 10 points. Before she knew it, a chaser from the other team lifted her with one arm and threw her onto the ground, causing her to lose the ball.
The Half-Blood Huskies, the University’s Muggle Quidditch Team, participated in its first tournament at Rice University on Jan. 27.
Though the team lost all of its matches, freshman Tracey Bacalla said the team performed surprisingly well in its first outing as the Half-Blood Huskies.
“We did really well for our first tournament, considering we only started practicing a month ago,” Bacalla said.
University of Southern Alabama, Rice University, University of the Incarnate Word, Loyola University, and HBU participated in the tournament.
The University’s team is not an official member of the International Quidditch Association, the governing body of muggle quidditch across the world, but the Half-Blood Huskies participated in the tournament as an exhibition match.
Freshman Arash Dabiri, president of the muggle quidditch club, said he was surprised at the caliber of players and did not expect the matches to be very competitive.
“Some of the teams had guys who looked like they played football,” he said, adding that the other teams played very aggressively, which took the Half-Blood Huskies by surprise.
Grise experienced her aggressive opponents firsthand when she was thrown onto the ground.
“I was running down the quaffle, when I felt someone lift me a few feet off the ground with one arm and threw me onto my back,” she said. “Apparently, he threw me five or six feet and somehow didn’t hurt me.”
After a joint match with the team from University of Southern Alabama, USA extended an invitation to HBU’s team to participate in an exhibition tournament this March hosted by USA.
Bacalla said that the team might participate in USA’s tournament.
Next up for the Half-Blood Huskies is expanding their roster. Bacalla added that there was much more interest in the team last semester when the Quidditch club started.
She said that her primary focus right now is training and conditioning for competitive play against more experienced teams.
“We weren’t expecting the other teams to be so competitive,” she said. “Now that we have seen our competition, we can train to beat them.”