Again, “What a regional!!!!” Not only did our alliance win the regional, but we also took home two awards, met some great people, and had an incredible time.
It all started on Monday. By the time we finished competing at the Finger Lakes Regional a couple weeks prior, our drive team had already gotten lots of driving practice in. Our drivers were more confident than ever, and after playing a few practice matches on Monday, they were ready to take on the quals.
And they really were ready. On Tuesday we finished our qualification matches almost undefeated, and secured our place in the #3 seed. Match after match we were able to consistently place cargo in the ship, complete the lower rocket, and climb to level 2. By that point it was almost certain we would stay as alliance captains, so once we got back home the scouters and strategists went right to work examining our data and choosing possible robots to pick. It really was the real deal here — we were going to have to form our own alliance, and do it right. After Skyping from around 10 PM to 2 AM, our scouters and strategists formed a (mostly) complete pick list, and we were ready to take on whatever would come our way that final day.
We finished off our remaining qualification matches Wednesday morning undefeated, which secured the #2 rank for our team. Before we knew it, it was time to form our alliance. We selected team 1468, the Hicksville J-Birds, as our first pick, and completed our alliance with a defensive bot from team 6911, the SO BOTZ. After a quick lunch break, our alliance was re- energized and ready to face the playoffs. Our alliance competed hard in the playoffs, especially against a few skilled defensive bots preventing us from scoring. But before we knew it, it came down to the finals. Our alliance was against a very strong alliance, and we knew we were in for a tough few matches. After winning our first intense finals match by a mere 5 points, it finally came down to the end. We just needed to win one more match. Just one more.
Three! Two! One! Go! Da-da da-da da-da!
And we were off. This was the start of the most intense 2 minutes and 30 seconds of our lives. All throughout the match, both alliances were neck and neck. Blue alliance was winning. Then red. Then blue then red then blue then red! It was anybody’s game. However, by the time the buzzer rang, the opposing alliance finished the match 8 points ahead of us. We knew that that score is never right, but to gain at least 9 points could be a tough thing to do. After a match review that seemed like an eternity, the final scores came up....and as that blue rocket soared into outer space, we knew it — by a single point, our alliance officially won the competition!!!! It was truly an incredible experience for us and our alliance partners.
In addition to the regional, we won the Safety Award and the Entrepreneurship Award, two awards in which we work tirelessly for and we couldn’t be prouder to have earned. Fun fact: we were also the fastest robot there, as reported by the Zebra Technologies DART System.
Although we would have loved to stay at Hofstra for the next competition, it was unfortunately time to go. After hopping on the bus, singing a few songs, and having a special little awards ceremony to congratulate each and every member of the team, it was time to call it a day.
What a season it has been. And it’s only just the beginning. See you in Detroit!
✅Play a sport
✅Touch a worm
✅Get a sense of urgency
✅Drive the robot like champions and win the regional!!!