The debate team made the record books last weekend in British Columbia as captains Carl Decker and Sam French won their first international championship; the first in University of La Verne history.
After two days, six preliminary rounds and the grand final, the team was crowned the 2013 UBC Champions at the University of British Columbia’s annual Intervarsity Tournament.
The ULV team was the only American college team present out of the 28 teams that participated.
“Our entire time at the University of British Columbia was a very humbling experience,” Decker said.
“The competition was talented, the schedule was rigorous, and the motions were challenging. We’re honored to have won another championship title in our contributions to the success of La Verne debate.”
“It’s really no surprise they came back as champions,” fellow debater Gia Karpouzis said. “They deserve it.”
Assistant Coach Michaeline Anderson attended the tournament with French and Decker, also serving as a judge in the final rounds.
“I never had any moments of doubt with them,” Anderson said.
“There were moments where I could see them getting stressed out, but they really kept it together the whole tournament. They gave it their all every single time and never backed down.”
“The success of winning and creating value is a true testament to the hard work these students apply each week,” debate coach Rob Ruiz said.
“This performance is a mere reflection of this team’s ambition. Each team member is responsible for making each other great.”
Ruiz coached Decker and French in La Verne while Anderson accompanied them to UBC.
Speech Communications Department Chairman Ian Lising also supported them by expanding the speech communications budget to allow the students to fly internationally to compete.
“It was really exciting, really nerve wracking at times, but really great to see all their hard work pay off.” Anderson said.
The debate team will compete in the prestigious world-warm ups at the Oxford IV tournament in Oxford, England this weekend.
The A team of Decker and French will compete, along with the B team of Karpouzis and Melanie Nadon.
“With the ambition and perseverance this team keeps bringing, I am looking forward to continuing our success across the pond.” Ruiz said.
“I think our greatest asset is our passion,” Karpouzis said. “We don’t do this because we have to, we do it because we love it.”
Several other members of the team will compete at UC Davis this weekend, while the rest of the team continues to prepare for Nationals in 2014.
Alison Rodriguez can be reached at alison.rodriguez2@ laverne.edu.