03/04/14 The 2014 VEX Robotics Indiana State Championship Competition was held this past Saturday, March 1st at Stonybrook Middle School on the east side of Indianapolis. Josh Kuhn and Kennedy Schnieders, comprising Team 5003 – The RoboNinjas, entered the competition as defending 2013 Indiana State Champions.
Qualifying rounds consisted of 72 matches of which each team competed in 6. The RoboNinjas, determined to defend their title, tied their first match and easily won out their remaining ones. They ended the qualifying rounds with a 5-0-1 record and had advanced themselves in the rankings to the top spot.
Their top ranking ensured them of getting first pick in the Alliance Selection portion before the Tournament play began, and they selected a strong team from Zionsville, IN that complimented their style of play and picked up an excellent defensive team from Greenfield, IN as their 2nd selection in the Alliance portion of the tournament.
Quarterfinals started out rocky with the RoboNinjas having technical difficulties. They ended up losing the first match by 10 points. With tournament play being a best of 3 series, the RoboNinjas sat out match two, relying on their alliance partners to win the second match, which they did, pushing the round to match three. The boys handily outscored their challengers in match three, avoided the upset, and advanced to the semifinal rounds.
After winning the first match in their semifinal, the RoboNinjas again had technical difficulties in match two, forcing them to play match three. But, just as in the Quarterfinals, the RoboNinjas bounced back and took the match easily, advancing to the Finals.
After a mini-break to change batteries and strategize with their alliance teammates, the RoboNinjas began the finals determined to win in the first two matches, rather than let it get pushed to 3 one more time. The strategy they drew up worked just as they had hoped and they easily bested their final challenger on the day, winning the first two matches and giving the RoboNinjas an unprecedented second straight title as Indiana State Robotics Champions. The RoboNinjas collected a Tournament Champion trophy and an Indiana State Champions banner.
As the 2014 Indiana State Robotics Champions, Josh and Kennedy will be representing Indiana at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Anaheim, CA this April 22 through the 26. There will be 400 top teams from cities and countries around the world and the boys look to improve upon last year’s quarterfinal tournament run.
Good luck to the RoboNinjas!