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ULV debate team says aloha to new victory

Alison Rodriguez
Staff Writer

The debate team traveled out of state for the first time this semester representing the University of La Verne in the last two tournaments, in Hawaii and Seattle, receiving national recognition.

“It was awesome to see two of our teams make it so far in the tournament and really show the other universities what ULV Debate has to offer,” junior speech communications and sociology major Brittany Boiko said.

The debate team traveled to Hawaii Feb. 15-17.

The outcome of the Hawaii debate resulted in two La Verne teams advancing to the semi-finals consisting of Steve Reyes, Brittany Lokar, Melanie Nadon and Natalie Holland, and one team making it to the final round. That team consisted of freshman Gia Karpouzis and senior Thomas Allison

“The scariest moment for me was probably when I had to speak in the final round,” Karpouzis said. “It was my first time finaling at a tournament, and I felt a myriad of pressures: I was the only freshman in the round.”

March 1 through March 3 the team traveled to Washington to compete against schools such as Loyola Marymount and Stanford.

The La Verne A team, consisting of Sam French and Carl Decker, took first place in every preliminary round and progressed to the semi-final round. The La Verne D team, consisting of Thomas Allison and Brittany Lokar, also progressed to the semi-final round. All four debaters took home a speaker awards, in a tournament of over 150 debaters, Allison placed ninth, Lokar sixth, French fifth, and Decker first.

“We crushed everyone on the first day. In prelims, Carl and I didn’t drop any points, five firsts in a row. We’ve never done that before,” French said.

“Our team is a welcoming inclusive environment where students come to understand what they really believe in and learn how to communicate about it persuasively to others. We don’t teach you what to think, we teach you how to think things out and really understand them,” debate coach John Patrick said.

Alison Rodriguez can be reached at

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