Friday, October 16, 2009 (All day)

The PLNU speech and debate team enjoyed a strong beginning to the 2009-10 academic competitive season by winning a three way close-out tie for first place in the Senior Division of parliamentary debate at the Concordia Double Up tournament hosted on Concordia Irvine’s campus Friday, September 16, 2009. Thirty seven colleges and universities participated from Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Point Loma entered 8 teams at this tournament, with 6 in the Senior Division and 2 in the Junior Division. It is typically very difficult to advance to the elimination rounds of these tournaments, which is based on a team’s win loss record and speaker points earned in each preliminary round. Point Loma was fortunate enough at this first regular tournament of the year to advance all 8 teams to the elimination rounds. That is a very rare feat.

The two Junior PLNU teams of Michelle Diaz and Andrew Schalin, and Kim Jenkins and Jonothan Sonoda both advanced to Quarterfinals of Junior Division and won bronze medals. In the Senior Division the teams of Grant Beeson and Ian Sharples, and Ben Powers and James Wilson advanced to the Octa Final rounds before dropping. After beating the top seed from University of the Pacific in Octafinals, Barbara Gausewitz and Ciera Wilson dropped in Quarters of Senior to the Air Force Academy.

That left four teams in the Senior division Semifinal round. Three of the teams were from Point Loma, including, Danielle Lawson and Ashley Nuckels; Daniel Nadal and Katie Lucas; and Caitlyn Burford and MacLean Andrews. The other remaining team was a very fine team from the U S Air Force Academy that had just won a very prestigious national circuit tournament at William Jewell College in Missouri. The team of Caitlyn Burford and Mac Andrews defeated the U S Air Force Academy in a split decision in the one semifinal round. This left the three remaining teams unbeaten in the elimination bracket all from Point Loma, creating what we call a close out, which is when the final round does not take place because the remaining participants are from one school, which our tradition dictates is not debated out.

Additionally, Speaker awards were given to the top speakers in each division. In Junior Parliamentary debate Kim Jensen won 8th Place Speaker, Michelle Diaz won 6th Place Speaker, and Andrew Schalin won 3rd Place Speaker. In the Senior Division, Danielle Lawson won Sixth Place Speaker and Ashleigh Nuckels won Second Place Speaker overall.

Special thanks to Assistant Director of Forensics Melissa Lazaro for her long hours with the preparing the team and our terrific alumni and peer coaches Joel Day, Jordan Cherry, Angela Compton, Chris Gutierrez and Jayme Fancher . We appreciate the support of you all as well, including Dr. Michael McKinney who just met with us last week as a forensics fellow discussing the criminal justice system.