Nationally ranked Quiz Bowl team earns number one spot in ACC
Quiz Bowl team coach Matt Church (Advisor, Arts & Sciences) and team members were interviewed for “UofL Today with Mark Hebert.”
With a higher sectional qualifying score than Yale, Harvard, Columbia and MIT, the College of Arts & Sciences led Quiz Bowl team finished the 2016 Intercollegiate Championship Tournament with the highest score in its history – 14th place among the top 32 teams in the United States beating Brown University, Illinois, and Northwestern. The Division I team also was the highest scoring team in the ACC and finished ahead of fellow ACC members Duke and Northwestern.
“We finished about where we expected, and are happy to have cracked the Top 15,” said Nicholas Conder, Division I team member and a graduate student in Urban & Public Affairs. “With nearly all of our scoring players coming back, I think we can set even higher goals next year.”
Supported and led by A&S Advising, the 16-member UofL quiz bowl team represents departments across the college – from history and English to mathematics, chemistry, and urban & public affairs. It also includes five students from the J.B. Speed School and one student from the College of Business. The team is divided into divisions I and II, and is coached by A&S Advisors Matt Church and Eddie Bobbitt. The division I team, which earned first place in the Southeast Sectional qualifying them for the national tournament, is made up of Nick Conder (PhD, Urban & Public Affairs), Megan Seldon (BA, English), Kurtis Droge (MBA), and Ramapriya Rangaraju (MS, Computer Engineering & Computer Science).
In the championship tournament, Droge was the fourth leading scorer overall and earned a spot on the Division I All-Star team. The Division I team was ranked at number nine nationally right behind Stanford, with a player that is a former member of UofL’s team, ahead of the championships. The division II team ranked second in the Southeast Sectional, ahead of Vanderbilt University and Western Kentucky University.
“I am immensely proud of the team,” said Coach Matt Church. “This was our highest Division I finish in program history and they had to compete in a brutal preliminary group that included Michigan, Minnesota, Duke, Brown, and MIT. To finish 14th and earn victories over national powers Brown, Northwestern, and Illinois is just great. Additionally, Kurtis’ performance was magnificent and his inclusion on the Division I All Star team is very well deserved. I hope the team will find similar success at the ACF Nationals this weekend.”
Quiz Bowl features two teams competing head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, sports, and popular culture. Players practice against each other on campus and then represent UofL in teams from one to four players at varsity tournaments. Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings played quiz bowl competitively in college, and many players have played since elementary school and beyond.
Freshman Lance Gibson (English & Mathematics) has been participating on quiz bowl teams for nine years, through elementary, middle, and high school. Now at UofL, Gibson said quiz bowl is an integral part of who he is and that he would never abandon the competition.
“Every tiny piece of information we collect gives us a broader perspective and deeper insight in both natural and societal contexts,” he said. “While many others keep learning inside the classroom, we take it beyond.”