Penn State Spring Academic Bowl 2016 Wrap-Up


State College A with their 1st place trophy. From L to R: Joey, Lars, Mahima, and Mia.

Pennsylvania’s final invitational of the 2015-2016 season was a small one but a good one. With 12 teams from seven schools on the docket, Penn State hosted a full round robin of action on April 16th. Stats for the event are available here.

Playing at full strength for the first time all season, State College‘s extraordinary A team of Mahima Kumara, Joey Feffer, Lars De Lorenzi, and Mia Cavener walloped the field, combining for almost 500 points a game, putting together over 23 points per bonus, and winning every match by at least 195 points. I only got to read for them once, but in a 600 point showing against their E team they impressed with powers galore and immaculate teamwork on bonuses. I could tell these players really work together well, and I anticipate a high nationals finish.

Henderson took home 2nd place, going 9-2 and also clearing 400 points a game. Strong performances on regular difficulty sets have validated their big win at Manheim Township Fall this year, and show that they have the depth to perform on harder questions. This is another team where all four members (David, Alex, Ashish, and Nick) contribute significant points on the tossups. They’re probably not a playoff lock at nationals next month, but it’s not off the table either.


Penn State players Bruce McAnnich and Paul Birch read the first half of a tiebreaker to take home the 3rd place trophy.

DuBois, Great Valley, and State College B ended up in a tie with 8-3 records for the 3rd place trophy. This was played off with half-packet matches, with State College emerging with the hardware. State College B had a bit of a sluggish start to their day, but came out like lightning after lunch and proved tough to stop. DuBois saved one of their best performances for last, with the strongest stats out of this group. Eli Kirk’s monster 82 ppg led the tournament by a large margin. His teammates also chipped in, with everyone on DuBois powering at least twice. Great Valley once again played undermanned, with sophomores Sam Scarfone and Daniel Chen leading the way this time. Though they didn’t quite win a tournament this year, Great Valley showed time and again they deserve respect in this rapidly improving state and will be able to reload for next year.

After these, State College C, D, and E, piled up in the middle. State College is ridiculously deep, with an E team that can put up 16 points a bonus! They won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, that’s for sure, and look to continue their run as one of the most venerable quality quizbowl programs in the country. Central took the drive up from Philadelphia with two teams to get in one last tournament this season, and while they didn’t win as many games as I’m sure they would have liked, they seemed to be having a blast and were refreshing to read for every time. The Susquehanna Valley sent Berwick and first time Saturday-tournament entrant Milton to compete. Though neither team came away with more than a win, it was great to see them compete and we hope we can bring more pyramidal quizbowl to their area of Central PA in the near future.

Thanks to all teams for a smooth ride. 12 rounds were played in 7 hours, and it takes a full team effort on the part of both moderators and players to make this happen. We wish all seniors the best of luck next year in college or otherwise, and hope to see all underclassmen back next year.

Ben Herman

Next stop on the GPQB schedule: Awards Season, States, and Nationals!


Central B and Berwick shake hands after their match.

One comment

  1. Just wanted to publicly state thanks to Ben and the PSU Quiz Bowl crew for running a really efficient tournament that had us complete a full twelve-team round robin before 3:30pm.

    I’ll also echo the comments about both Henderson’s strength and State College’s ridiculous depth — multiple freshmen on the C and D teams had some impressive powers and really strong performances; was really impressive to see in person.


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