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The Streetsboro High School's Quiz Bowl team for the first time qualified for the High School National Championship Tournament, which took place in Chicago April 28-30.
For advisor Molly Klodor, the accomplishment is a milestone in the history of the program, which she started five years ago.
"My first year we had three people on our team, and now we have 20 people on our team," she said. "We have one of the biggest teams in the area."
Quiz Bowl is a team-based trivia game, based on the type of academic knowledge one might learn during school, according to team members.
"Quiz Bowl is students getting together meeting up and answering questions, almost like trivia questions but kind of like things you should learn in school," said team member Karan Ingle. "You ring in with a buzzer, and if you get the question correct within a certain amount of time, your team gets three bonuses; if you get it wrong, you get negative points."
When the students competed at the national level, they faced tough competition and posted a 2-7 record over the course of the tournament, said Klodor. Out of 96 teams attending, Streetsboro ranked in the 80s.
"They were so shocked at the level of competition," she said. "It was an excellent trip, and I'm really happy. They want to go back."
Team member Ravleen Ingle said early loses may have hurt the team.
"The last day we were kind of burned out and kind of disappointed we got knocked out," she said. "A lot of our matches were very, very close."
To qualify for nationals, Klodor said the team was ranked as the top team in a division of small schools.
Maddy thanked the Streetsboro Board of Education for funding the entire trip other than food.
"We were really lucky to have them pay for everything," she said.
Some students tend to develop areas of specialty, capitalizing on an interest in music or science. Ravleen, for example, said she does well on literature and biology questions.
Team members seemed to agree opera was a weak area for the team, so they agreed someone will have to study it next year.
Klodor said younger students will be asked to step up to varsity next year. Sometimes that means trying to learn about areas the seniors know well.