Hoping to bring home a second national championship, the debate team participated in two recent tournaments in San Diego and Hawaii.
Just a few weeks into spring semester, La Verne debaters have already begun racking up wins for 2014.
The Point Loma Tournament last month in San Diego was the first competition of the semester and has been a central tournament for the past 20 years. Three teams from ULV advanced to the semifinals, and two speakers placed in the top ten.
Jonathan Singleton, sophomore speech communication major, made it to the grand finals and said La Verne is the school no one wants to face. Even though they lost, their team has been one of the most consistent.
“We already know how to speak, it is just about having the knowledge about what’s going on in the world,” Singleton said.
He said the team prepares by diligently studying world news in addition to the six hours they practice a week.
The team also traveled last month to Honolulu where they participated in the Pan Pacific Tournament.
Two teams finished in the final round, and six speakers placed in the top ten in the tournament.
“The combination of having a good work ethic and gifted and hard-working people on the team is making us successful. We’ve been working a lot and it’s paying off,” Singleton said.
Melanie Nadon, junior speech communication and gender law and policy major, was one of the debaters who made it to finals and said the Pan Pacific Tournament was a great way to start the semester.
“It gets to the point where it’s not about you and your partner winning anymore—you just want to ensure La Verne comes out on top,” Nadon said.
The debate team has two tournaments left in the spring semester: one at the University of Denver, followed by the United States Universities National Debate Championship.
“I’m definitely confident that we’re going to break. People ask La Verne to come. We’re competitive and nice people,” said junior speech communication and political science major Brittany Boiko, a debater who made it into the finals.
“Smaller tournaments are a lot more fun,” Singleton said. “The national championship is stressful. The higher up you go, the higher risk and the higher the reward.”
The debate team hopes to join Yale and Harvard Universities by bringing in a second championship and to continue dominating the finals.
Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.