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Debate Hawks Win at University of Houston Tournament

In their second outing of the 23-24 season, the Debate Hawks scored impressive victories at the University of Houston. With teams fielded in two separate divisions (JV and Novice), Monmouth teams were able to make it to the Octofinals and achieve speaker awards over the entire division.

In the novice field, the teams of Brendan Sheehan and Destiny Goodfriend along with Patrick Carbone and Matthew Boyle both made it to the Octofinals. Sheehan and Goodfriend finished 3-3, and Carbone and Boyle finished 4-2 overall in the preliminary rounds. These results are particularly notable, as they were paired against schools such as Cornell and West Point.

Other Monmouth teams also achieved impressive results. The doubles pairing of JackMichael “Jacky” Bruno and Sarina Dadoun went 3-3 overall, alongside the duo of Sierra Michel and Taiphane Orange. Veronica Belloso and Owen Bros also made a noteworthy showing at the tournament, with a victory over West Point in the first round. The team of Matthew Gold and Wiktoria Gawelko also participated in the tournament.

Additionally, Bruno and Belloso both won speaker awards. Bruno placed second over the entire division, only being outdone by Piper Kohlenberger of Cornell. Belloso placed tenth overall within her division. Bruno also achieved the score of “30” in two separate rounds, which is considered a perfect score. This feat was not achieved by any other debater in the division.

Captain Mariami Ramirez had this to comment regarding her team’s performance: “I’m incredibly proud of our team. They put the work in, came in with their war paint on and delivered. We scored some awesome hardware and had major wins in each division. I’m especially grateful for my beyond amazing partner Julia Schaefer, who helped organize everything and was the team’s backbone for the whole tournament. This would not have been such a successful tournament had it not been for her and all her hard work.”

In the JV division, the teams of Schaefer and Ramirez and Maria Ortegalopez and Alexa Zupkay both went 3-3 overall.
The Debate Hawks are currently ranked 24th in the nation, just above the University of Texas and Dartmouth.

Head coach Joseph Patten, Ph.D., said on his team’s success, “Our debaters went up against top-tier teams from across the country and proved once again they can compete against anybody. Our debaters have grit, toughness, and are determined to achieve great things, which will carry over to the next chapters of life. And they’re great people to boot – tons of fun to be around during weekend tournaments. We also have great team leaders who selflessly give everything they have on behalf of the team.”