Quiz Bowl team excels at Cal Cup 2 using new team strategy

January 24, 2019 — by Jeffrey Xu

At the Cal Cup 2 Quiz Bowl tournament held on Jan. 19 at Bellarmine College Preparatory, the school’s A and B teams placed second and third respectively, a highly impressive feat for one public school. The Escobar A Team won the competition.

Since the top 11 teams from Cal Cup 2 qualify for the High School National Championship Tournament (HSNCT), held in Atlanta from May 24 to 26, both teams qualified for the national tournament.

However, unbeknownst to most at the competition, the teams had been altered before the event. According to Ma, one team member, junior Sathvik Kaliyur, had called in sick, so the team had to make some last-minute adjustments to rebalance the two teams.

The original A team members split into two subteams, one consisting of junior Jason Hong and senior Kiran Rachamallu, the other consisting of juniors Jeffrey Ma and Brandon Wang.

Hong and Rachamallu were joined by junior Alvin Liu and senior Sarah Meng to complete the A Team for the competition, while Ma and Wang were accompanied by senior Anuj Changavi to complete the B Team for the competition.

“Despite this, A and B teams placed second and third respectively, which we thought was a very good result,” Ma said. “Both qualified for HSNCT, which is a plus.”

Liu, Meng and Changavi had all been part of the original Quiz Bowl B Team.

Wang said that the team decided to organize their competitive teams in this fashion in order to qualify as many teams as possible to the HSNCT.

Wang believes that this year, by qualifying two teams to nationals, they will have a much better chance to advance far at the HSNCT competition, a feat that the team was unable to accomplish last year.

The team also qualified for another national-level tournament, the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence National Scholastic Championship (PACE NSC) through their top placings in previous tournaments. This one will be held in Washington, D.C., from June 8 to 9.

“With major improvements to both lineup and knowledge, we’re just looking to improve on last years finish and make a really deep run at both nationals,” Ma said.