Quiz Bowl Advances to Nationals After Success in Spring Tournament

Quiz Bowl Advances to Nationals After Success in Spring Tournament

By Lauren Reiser, Senior Editor

The Wayne Hills Quiz Bowl Team, led by advisor Ms. Kiernan, had great success at this year’s Spring 3-2-1 Tournament, placing 1st in New Jersey and 13th overall in the country!

The team – which includes seniors Robert Blacha, Jakob Hablitz, Melissa Hering, Sakshi Lende, Anshul Sinha, Karina Tay, and Lydia Yang, juniors Maya Lozea and Daryna Yushchenko, and freshmen Aadhithyaram Balaji, Ishan Sinha, and Angadh Singh – competed in the virtual tournament on March 19, 2021 along with 133 teams from across the country.

The tournament’s 240 questions tested the team’s knowledge across various categories ranging from literary works to mathematics to historical figures, meaning the team had to have strong expertise in multiple different areas.

“This year our starting players each have varying subject strengths that when combined allow them to excel at the various categories that this tournament includes within its question bank,” said Ms. Kiernan. “While, for example, Lydia–who is a daunting player in the ‘liberal arts’ categories– may revisit all the works of Shakespeare in anticipation of particular literature questions, other players such as Jakob have innate math skills.”

The team earned 312 of the possible points and took only 70 minutes and 59 seconds to answer all of the questions, and their impressive performance has qualified them for the 39th Annual National Academic Championship this summer.

“What impressed me the most was the speed and accuracy with which the team answered the question,” commented Ms. Kiernan. “At the tournament, Wayne Hills had one of the fastest times overall which helped our ranking since more points are awarded if the questions are quickly and correctly answered.”

Not only did the team excel at the tournament, but it was also their first time competing at this particular event.

Ms. Kiernan continued: “[Even] though I know how strong our team is, I had no idea how we compared on a national level to the other and more seasoned teams involved. I feel very fortunate that despite the fact we never met in person and that all of our ‘regular’ competitions were canceled, our team actually increased in size and students were able to work so well together virtually.”

Team member and Hills senior Lydia Yang was extremely excited by the team’s win.

“I was equal amounts shocked and happy. One part of me honestly couldn’t believe it because I was never able to make it to any legitimate Quiz Bowl tournaments before this year because of scheduling issues, so I never expected it. But I’m honestly so confident in the team that another part of me wasn’t that surprised at all. I’m so proud of each and every single member, old and new.”

Now, after celebrating their incredible win, the team must prepare for Nationals, which will take place in July.

“I don’t think we’ll do anything special for nationals, but we may hold some practice rounds where we quiz each other on our own separate calls on Google Hangouts or our discord group chat” said Yang. “I would say the strongest quality of our team is that we’re genuinely all friends with one another and enjoy helping each other learn and deduce answers by bouncing ideas off of each other,”

Congratulations to the Quiz Bowl Team, and good luck at Nationals!