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Debate Team Reaches Championship Round in California Tournament

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (Jan. 25, 2017) — The Monmouth University debate team won seven team and individual speaking awards and saw one team advance to the championship round at a debate tournament in San Diego, Calif., last weekend. Monmouth’s Prachi Patel and Sabrina Saenger won three playoff rounds over teams from the University of Southern California and Cal State Northridge before losing in the tournament championship round on a 2-1 vote to a team from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Patel also took a third place speaking award. Ryan Kelly and Phoebe Nelson advanced to the quarter-final round and Kaitlin Allsopp and Robert Davies also earned individual speaking awards.

Ten two-person teams from Monmouth competed in the tournament: Emely Diaz and Kaitlin Allsopp; Prachi Patel and Sabrina Saenger; Francesca Vaccaro and Alec Gullian; Ryan Kelly and Phoebe Nelson; Heidi Solley and Tylar Wengiel; Chase Petras and Chris Diolosa; Alexis Vasquez and Sukayna Rahawi; Angela Ryan (Captain) and Robert Davies; Matthew Toto (Captain) and Gregory Harpe (experienced division); and Megan Fleitz and Rossana Valdivia.

Each year a topic is picked by the CEDA/NDT organization to be debated throughout the country. The topic for this year is Resolved: The United States Federal Government should establish a domestic climate policy, including at least substantially increasing restrictions on private sector emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States.

Each two-person team competes in six rounds of debate, three on the affirmative and three on the negative side of the topic, with each debate round lasting approximately two hours. Teams that make it into the playoff rounds continue debating in one-round eliminations until a champion emerges.

Approximately 60 teams from twelve colleges and universities competed in the tournament. The Monmouth University debate team is coached by Dr. Joseph Patten.