The 2014 NSC was held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA on May 24 and 25. Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy from Austin, Texas (Alex Freed, Ben Jones, Arnav Sastry, Nathan Weiser) defeated Western Albemarle High School from Crozet, Virginia (Patrick Andrews, Tim Dodson, Sam Lesemenn, Angela Li, Kelly Missett, Eric Xu) 470-350 in a one-game final to win their first national championship after placing second at the 2013 NSC. In the third place game, St. John’s School (Houston, Texas) defeated Ladue Horton Watkins High School (St. Louis, Missouri), last year’s NSC champion, 450-370. The other top bracket teams, in order of finish, were: High Tech (Lincroft, New Jersey), LASA B (Austin, Texas), Northmont (Clayton, Ohio), and Farragut (Knoxville, Tennessee).
For the first time, PACE awarded small school and junior varsity titles at the NSC. Cave Spring (Roanoke, Virginia) defeated Mountain Lakes (Mountain Lakes, New Jersey) 310-280 to win the first ever PACE NSC Small School championship. By virtue of finishing in a higher playoff tier than any other junior varsity school, Wilmington Charter B (Wilmington, Delaware) became the first PACE NSC Junior Varsity champion.
The tournament’s leading scorer was Eric Xu of Western Albemarle, who scored 146 points per game in leading his team to a second-place finish. The only other scorer to top 100 points per game over the course of the tournament was Sam Blizzard of Northmont, who was also the leading scorer on a top bracket team. Sam and Eric each captained a team in the All-Star Game, and were joined by Carlo De Guzman (St. John’s), Adam Fine (UChicago Lab), Sean McBride (High Tech), Kai Smith (Farragut), Nathan Weiser (LASA), and Ben Zhang (Ladue). Eric’s team, the “Beasts of the East” (Eric, Ben, Carlo, and Kai) defeated the “Best of the West” (Sam, Adam, Sean, and Nathan) 490-210 to win $400 for UNICEF, while Sam’s team won $100 for the World Wildlife Fund.
Tournament Field and Results
This was the largest NSC in history, featuring 96 teams from 76 schools in 3 countries. Teams were split into 12 preliminary brackets of 8 teams each, with the top two in each bracket advancing to the top tier of the playoffs, where they played in 4 brackets of 6. This was the first NSC to have teams attend from outside North America, with Shanghai American Puxi and Singapore American School both attending. Full statistics for the tournament can be found on the HSQB database at http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/1679/stats/final_standings/.
The Benjamin Cooper Award was presented to Jeff Hoppes for his work with NAQT, as well as his outreach work in Northern California. The Young Ambassador Cooper Award was given to Matt Bollinger of the University of Virginia. LASA A became the first team since State College in 2011 to win both the PACE NSC and the NAQT HSNCT. LASA B was the highest-finishing B team, tying their sixth-place finish from last year. The highest-finishing team competing at NSC for the first time was Western Albemarle, placing second.