We played our own A team. And we won. We weren't expecting it. We didn't really want it - we had enjoyed proving ourselves against them at practice, but knocking them out of the competition was not something we wanted or expected. We were all very upset after that game, but we had to move on to the next round.
We played Oxford for this game. We knew that after we had beaten our own A team, we had to win the rest of the competition. It was the least that we could do. We didn't. The match was very close. 36-26, in Oxford's favor. Ten points difference - less than one tossup and bonus between us. There were a thousand different ways the match could have gone in our favor - any one of us slightly faster on a question, or a lucky guess, or whether Oxford got the bonus correct on the final question - the match hung on the edge, and I suppose we were just on the wrong side of that edge.
After that match, Oxford beat Walnut for the first place. So technically, we took third/fourth place (more like third in my book). One of our A team players and one of our B team players placed for most individual points scored. Perhaps things would have been very different if we had drawn a different bracket. This was the second time in twenty-six years that MSMS did not send a team to the national competition.
We will come back next year, and next year we will be smarter, faster, and better. We have a score to settle, and I know that I will do everything I can to fix that.