History Bowl team ‘buzzing’ with excitement following victory

December 6, 2012 — by Nick Chow and Bruce Lou

Although it is one of the newest clubs on campus, it has already won multiple victories. In only its first year, the History Bowl team conquered numerous other teams in its qualification for the national tournament. This year’s team is starting off right where they left off last year.

Although it is one of the newest clubs on campus, it has already won multiple victories. In only its first year, the History Bowl team conquered numerous other teams in its qualification for the national tournament. This year’s team is starting off right where they left off last year.
        
In their very first tournament, hosted at Saratoga High on Dec. 2, two of the three teams qualified for the national competition.
   
The varsity team A, which consists of seniors Spencer Goldman, Maggy Liu, Kabir Chandrasekher and Kian Anderson, swept through the preliminary rounds of the competitions with a 4-1 record, including victories over high school teams Escobar A (Mission San Jose), Bellarmine B, Andrew Hill, Escobar B and Saratoga B.
   
Their playoffs record was equally as good, defeating Escobar and Saratoga B, yet again, en route to the finals. They lost in the finals against junior Sameer Rai, Bellarmine’s one-man juggernaut team and reigning Quiz Bowl national champion. The team finished with a 6-2 record and second place overall.

“Even though we lost [against Rai] in the finals, we held our own, and it was an honor to play against him,” Goldman said. “But I was most impressed with the JV team. I had high expectations for them, but I never expected that they’d blow away the competition.”
   
The JV team, consisting of sophomores Bruce Lou, Boyu Pang, Nitya Sampath and Linus Lu, surpassed all of the team’s wildest expectations, cruising to an impeccable 4-0 record in the preliminary competition.
  
In the playoffs, the JV was equally as dominant, crushing the teams like Escobar to advance to the finals where they faced Bellarmine. This match was a little closer, with the team down 40 points at the end of the third quarter, but the team ultimately pulled out a victory and emerged victorious. They finished with a 7-0 record as the undisputed champions.

“I felt validated by the victory,” Lu said. “It was like our hard work had paid off completely.”
   
However, the varsity B team of seniors Nikki Bedekar, Amin Mirzadegan and Michal Kranz, junior Nick Chow and sophomore Ethan Ngai missed the cut for nationals by a mere one question.

The question, which caused quite a bit of controversy, asked what a sarissa, a type of spear, was. However, the judge refused to accept “spear” or “long spear” as an answer, accepting only “pike,” leading to team B’s defeat against Saratoga team A.

Team B members were upset.

“The tiny difference between a spear and a pike cost us nationals,” Ngai said.

Other than the disappointment suffered, team members were generally very pleased with the performance of the team.

“We’ve really showed our prowess as a team,” Bedekar said.
The History Bowl team will send two squads to the national tournament in Washington, D.C. in late April, with the remaining team possibly qualifying this spring.

“[My expectations for the team] are pretty high. All three teams are of high quality,” Goldman said, “We can do really well if we just try hard.”