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RC Quiz Bowl Teams Buzz their way to Tournament

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Written by Bradley Bommarito

Two teams from RC’s Quiz Bowl club recently competed in a sectional championship tournament in North Carolina.

“This past weekend, we represented Roanoke College at the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT) Sectional Tournament for our region held at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Our two teams competed against Duke, NC State, Virginia Tech, Liberty, UNC-Wilmington, Elon, and Washington and Lee,” said Dr. Gary Hollis, chemistry professor and coach of RC’s Quiz Bowl Team.

RC students went up against some of the finest minds in the area in a contest of quick wits.  Students thrived under the pressures of the competition and put forth their best effort.

“I decided to attend the Quiz Bowl tournament at UNC Chapel Hill since I wanted to test my knowledge against people from larger schools, and I thought that it would be a very fun experience.  The tournament allowed me to learn a lot about my fellow teammates since we spent a lot of time together.  I also enjoyed competing and challenging myself,” said freshman Liam Courtney.

The tournament was an action-packed day that represented an opportunity for both personal and team-oriented growth.

“The Quiz Bowl tournament was definitely an adventure. Even though there was a bit of confusion with scheduling, it was great to see all of the members shift things around to be there for the team. The experience was rewarding and as a result I’ve discovered many things about my friends and myself, found the confidence to finally hit the buzzer and test my trivia knowledge, as well as compete in a whole new area other than what I’m accustomed to,” said freshman Carly Schepacarter.

Quiz Bowl allows students with knowledge of obscure facts and trivia to showcase their skills and assess their abilities.  Students put an incredible amount of dedication into both practice sessions and competitions.

“I enjoy doing quiz bowl because I can finally put to use my extremely useless knowledge.  Like, it’s the only time I’m ever going to use my experiences with House of Mirth, the esteemed novel by Edith Wharton.  My team performed… it performed and I have no clue how we did because our sponsor made us leave before we got our results. Which was a shame, because there was this cute girl I wanted to talk to. Whenever we performed poorly, I didn’t feel too bad about it because it seemed like quiz bowl was the only thing those other kids had,” said freshman Robby Mangum.

Though neither teams were able to secure final victory, they enjoyed the thrill of competition and put their skills and abilities to the ultimate test.

“My team (Roanoke A) performed much better than I expected.  We won half our matches when I was hoping to win at least two matches.  I was also very proud of our B team since they were able to win one game and a lot of their matches were pretty close.  In the future I hope that we can end up being a top three team at a tournament.  I would also like for RC to host the tournament during my four years here,” said Courtney.

Quiz Bowl is a time-honored tradition at RC that continues to thrive.  

“Quiz Bowl has a long history at RC and grew out of a group of students who wanted to compete in academic competitions with schools in our region.  I have been the coach of our team since 1995, for over 20 years,” said Hollis.

RC Quiz Bowl meets on Monday afternoons from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. in Trexler 372 for practice.  All RC students are welcome to join.  Interested students should reach out to Dr. Gary Hollis at hollis@roanoke.edu.

“I was proud of both of our teams.  They are a great group and are fun to work with.  They’re serious about getting better in academic competition but are also determined to have fun while doing it.  RC has always been very generous in supporting its academic team, and the team continues to be grateful for that support,” said Hollis.