The 2011 NSC was held at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL on June 4-5. State College (David Liu, Graham Moyer, Christoph Schlom) defended their NSC title, defeating Hunter College High School (Lily Chen, York Chen, Richard Yu, Zihan Zheng) 490-210 in the championship game for their sixth PACE championship. LASA took third for the second consecutive year, going 5-2 in the superplayoffs. The remaining teams in the top eight were Stevenson (4-3), Maggie Walker (3-4), Bellarmine (3-4), Rockford Auburn (1-6) and St. Ignatius (0-7). Maggie Walker defeated Bellarmine in a tiebreaker for fifth place.
The top individual scorer was Kevin Malis of Stevenson. For the All-Star Game, he was joined by fellow Illinois students Ben Chametzky (Carbondale), Ben Carbery (Oak Park River Forest) and Andrew Deveau (St. Ignatius), each of whom had at least 120 PPG. The other team was composed of the four players elected by vote: Nikhil Desai (Bellarmine), Graham Moyer (State College), Benji Nguyen (LASA), and Tommy Casalaspi (Maggie Walker); the latter team won.
The 60 teams were split into 10 groups of 6 for preliminary play (http://www.pace-nsc.org/2011nsc/2011_PACE_NSC_Prelims_standings.html). The top two from each group advanced to the top playoff tier, while the third place teams competed in a wild card round in which Torrey Pines, Mission San Jose, Cistercian, and St. Anselm’s also advanced to the playoffs (http://www.pace-nsc.org/2011nsc/2011_PACE_NSC_Playoffs_standings.html). The playoffs saw four groups of six. Maggie Walker, State College, and Stevenson finished this stage unbeaten; LASA won their group at 4-1. Bellarmine, St. Ignatius, and Rockford Auburn were clear second place teams. The only tiebreaker to advance to the final eight was won by Hunter over Dunbar, the third time the two teams had played at the tournament. Hunter thus joined the other teams in the crossover super-playoffs (http://www.pace-nsc.org/2011nsc/2011_PACE_NSC_Superplayoffs_standings.html) where they won all six games. With State College’s loss to LASA, the stage was set for the one-game final.
State College’s triumph gave coach Julie Gittings a successful farewell, as she retired after 14 years and a combined 8 national titles (6 NSC, 2 HSNCT). Special recognition was given to Ms. Gittings at the opening ceremony. In addition, PACE recognized Matt Weiner as the winner of the Benjamin Cooper Award, and Charlie Dees, Jeffrey Hill, Paul Nelson, and Christine Whelehon on behalf of the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance as winners of the Young Ambassador Cooper Award. Matt becomes the only person to have won both Cooper Awards. 2011 State College is the most recent team to win both the PACE NSC and the NAQT HSNCT in the same season, and they join 1998-1999-2000-2001 State College as the only team to repeat as NSC champions.