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Belmont Abbey Debate Claims Second Place Speaking Award at New York Competition

The Belmont Abbey College Debate Team returned Sunday from Garden City, New York after competing in the Off Broadway Swing competition. In addition to individual success, the team collectively earned fourth place in the debate competition sweepstakes, in a field of 11 teams ranging from Seton Hall University to Colorado Christian University. Mary Rose Stepnowski and Logan Torve both concluded in the top 15% of competitors. Mary Rose was also awarded the gavel for second place in overall speaking points out of 54 competitors!
The tournament was run accordingly to Phi Ro Pi IPDA guidelines, which are catered to be more inclusive of two-year programs. Consequently, all students competed in varsity, including freshmen Hunter Owen and Isabelle Robertson. Belmont Abbey’s second and third year debaters all finished the four-round preliminary competition with winning records. Eric Swartz and Adrianna Hodges each won two rounds, while Mary Rose Stepnowski and Logan Torve both earned ballots in three of four rounds.
The 54 debaters were narrowed to a field of 16 for the “bronze round”. With 75% success records in preliminary rounds, Mary Rose and Logan were both selected to advance. Mary Rose won all three ballots to advance to the final “gold round”. Earning two of three ballots, Logan also advanced to the final round.
The final round proved more difficult, with Mary Rose winning one of three ballots to be named a silver award winner. Logan also dropped in the final round, positioning him as a second silver medalist for the team.
The students rounded out a successful semester by competing at a tournament in which only five schools advanced to elimination rounds. This type of competition is expected to challenge students even more than an average tournament, and our students certainly stepped up to that goal!

Belmont Abbey Placed Eight Nationally

While the International Public Debate Association is still entering numbers for some of our recent tournaments, current varsity rankings have Belmont Abbey placed eighth nationally!
The Belmont Abbey College Debate Team also traveled to Spokane, Washington last weekend to compete in the Nationals preview competition at Whitworth University. Following preliminary rounds, Belmont Abbey was ranked third overall out of 10 schools. In novice, freshman Hunter Owen was consistently ranked well as a speaker, earning seventh place honors out of 19. Anastasjiah McGriff won two ballots, placing her a single ballot away from elimination rounds.
In the open division, Eric Swartz won four out of five rounds, which placed him as ninth seed in a field of 40 varsity debaters. Logan Torve won three of five rounds, placing him in a tie for 11th seed of the same field and securing seventh place for varsity in speaking points. Mary Rose Stepnowski rounded out the varsity team by winning two ballots, including a round with a perfect speaking points score of 40. These contributions allowed the varsity team to collectively defeat Azusa Pacific University for team rankings following preliminary rounds.

Berea 2017

The Belmont Abbey Debate Team traveled to Berea, Kentucky this weekend to compete at Berea College. This tournament hosted a shortened version of several events, including both performance-based individual events and parliamentary debate. We concluded the weekend with two debate semifinalists and a second place speaker in varsity! Our major competition occurred in IPDA debate; five Belmont Abbey students competed in four preliminary rounds. In novice, Anastasjiah McGriff went 2-2, missing elimination rounds by one ballot. Maximilian Marck won all four preliminary ballots, advancing to quarterfinals. Max won the quarterfinal round against Morehouse College on a 3-0 decision before dropping in semifinals to Berea College on a 1-2 decision. In open debate, Mary Rose went 1-3 and Adrianna Hodges went 3-1. Due to a round with slightly lower than average speaking points, Addie missed qualification to quarterfinals; she tied for ninth place overall. Eric Swartz also won three of his preliminary ballots, advancing to elimination rounds as the second place varsity speaker. He won quarterfinals against the University of Kentucky on a 2-1 decision before dropping to a debater from Transylvania University. The cumulative record placed Belmont in the top five of 15 schools at the Berea Tournament!

Eastern Wyoming College Debate Tournament Results

The Belmont Abbey Debate Team travelled to Torrington, Wyoming this weekend to compete atIMG_20170930_194800 the Lancer Debates, hosted at Eastern Wyoming College. All four students in attendancIMG_1824e boasted winning records, meaning that they won at least as many rounds as they lost. In novice, Addie Hodges won three of her rounds and was honored at the awards ceremony for ranking as the eighth top speaker in her division. In varsity, Eric Swartz and Mary Rose Stepnowski each earned 3-3 records in their preliminary rounds. Logan Torve won a fourth ballot, advancing to elimination rounds and earning esteem as the fourth top speaker in open debate. In quarterfinals, Logan defeated a debater from Colorado Christian University on a 2-1 decision before winning semifinals against another Colorado Christian University student on a 3-0 panel decision. This placed him against the remaining debater, from Northwest College, in the final round. Logan successfully earned all three judge ballots, winning the tournament. As a result of both Logan’s success in out rounds and the team’s collective winning records in preliminary debates, Belmont Abbey College was awarded the trophy for third place in overall school debate sweepstakes. Our next tournament will occur October 13-14 in Berea, Kentucky and will be followed closely by the Nationals preview in Spokane, Washington.

Spring Semester Overview:

Belmont Abbey Debate Finishes Second out of Seventeen at Arkansas State

The Belmont Abbey debaters returned to campus yesterday morning after competing at Arkansas Tech University’s tournament this weekend. The competition involved both team and individual IPDA. In team debate, Mary Rose Stepnowski and Logan Torve advanced through both Quarterfinals and Semifinals on 2-1 decisions over the University of Central Arkansas and Drury University. In the final round against another team from the University of Central Arkansas, Belmont Abbey dropped on a 1-2 decision. In all, Mary Rose and Logan placed second of 17 teams from seven schools. Logan was also named fourth individual speaker for the team tournament. The second half of the weekend included individual IPDA, wherein approximately one third of 64 competitors advanced to elimination rounds. In novice, Addie Hodges won three of six rounds, positioning her only speaker points away from the top ten in her division. In junior varsity, Mary Rose Stepnowski dropped in a break round that would have advanced her to elimination rounds, resulting in a 2-4 record. Finally, in varsity, Logan Torve was unable to break with a 2-4 record; however, he was awarded second varsity speaker at the tournament. For our next tournament, we will return to Arkansas Tech University for the IPDA National Championship Tournament and Convention in late March. This past weekend’s competition primarily served to learn the differences in judging preferences and regional argumentation prior to the tournament next month. There are a few significant changes that we will be working on between now and then to see more positive results at the National Championship. Ultimately, most lost ballots came down to framing and weighing mechanism preferences that differ from North Carolina’s region. Additionally, I want to provide a brief update regarding the tournament schedule. In place of the University of Tennessee- Knoxville tournament that was cancelled earlier this semester, we will be taking the team captains to the Lafayette Debates in early April. Hosted primarily at George Washington University and sponsored in coordination with the French Embassies to the United States and Canada, this annual public debate event utilizes a single pre-determined topic to challenge students’ depth of research and clarity in argumentation. Logan Torve and Mary Rose Stepnowski will be representing Belmont Abbey College in competition against schools such as Stanford University, Ecole de Guerre, James Madison University, and George Washington University. While the formal topic for the year has yet to be announced, the topic area has been released and will discuss “migrations.” Students who perform particularly well in the Lafayette Debates have unique opportunities to garner prestigious scholarships to visit France through the debate’s Young Ambassador Program. The students understand that this tournament will require concentration in their research, and we hope to make the trip an annual tradition at Belmont Abbey College for our most dedicated and accomplished debate students.

Fall Semester Overview:

The Belmont Abbey College Debate Team travelled to five tournaments throughout the first semester, in addition to hosting a successful scrimmage against Appalachian State University. In summation, we returned to campus with two individual speaker awards, one octofinal award, one quarterfinal trophy, and three semifinal finishes.We also received first place honors at the University of the Pacific Tournament for small schools sweepstakes. Scrimmage: Belmont Abbey College hosted a scrimmage against Appalachian State University on September 18, 2016. The scrimmage was a useful follow-up to our semester kickoff, as it provided a unique opportunity for new students to practice debating teams from another school before committing to a full tournament. Students Mary Rose Stepnowski and Logan Torve competed in a final round against Appalachian State, during which members from both university teams observed. The round was discussed by all present coaches from Appalachian State and Belmont Abbey as a panel. Wheaton College: The Wheaton Tournament was hosted the final weekend of September. We took two teams to the Chicago tournament. Our varsity team of Logan Torve and Mary Rose Stepnowski went 2-4, hitting national top teams during their final two debate rounds.  First year debater Eric Swartz went 3-3 in the junior varsity division, which includes students in their first two years of debate. Additionally, Logan Torve was awarded fourth overall speaker at the tournament, out of 32 varsity debaters. Berea College: The Berea tournament was hosted October 14-15, with our team placing eighth out of 18 debate teams. Our main focus that weekend was IPDA, or individual debate, which had 48 students entered. The tournament had four preliminary rounds and broke about 30% of the field in each division. In the novice division, Eric Swartz and Vincent Gillson won half of their respective debates, making them just a few speaker points away from advancing to elimination rounds. In open debate, Logan Torve also went 2-2, barely missing elimination rounds as well. Mary Rose Stepnowski also competed in the varsity division, with a 3-1 record in preliminary rounds, a perfect 3-0 decision in quarterfinals, and ending with a 1-2 decision in semifinals. McKendree University: Over fall break, the team of Mary Rose Stepnowski and Eric Swartz travelled to Lebanon, Illinois to compete at the Bearcat Classic and Hunsaker Invitational tournaments, both held at McKendree University. The tournaments included teams ranked in the top ten nationally, several other nationally successful teams and a couple of regionally competitive teams; thirty-three teams competed throughout the weekend. Both tournaments were collapsed, meaning that all divisions competed in the same varsity group until elimination rounds. Our second round at the Hunsaker Invitational paired us against the varsity champions from the first tournament. At the conclusion of preliminary rounds, the top junior varsity teams advanced to elimination rounds in one division, while varsity debate teams hoped to advance in their respective division. At the first half, Eric and Mary Rose advanced to the semi-final round of the junior varsity division. They dropped on a 1-2 decision to McKendree. In the second tournament, the team advanced to the semi-final round for a second appearance, the only junior varsity team to do so at both tournaments. They garnered one of three ballots, losing to Illinois but earning the title of third overall in the junior varsity division. University of the Pacific: The Belmont Abbey Debate Team competed in Stockton, California at the University of the Pacific’s tournament on November 5-6. The tournament saw 52 debate teams overall and included registration from 20 schools. Team sweepstakes for the tournament were divided into two categories; a third of all schools registered competed for small school sweepstakes. Belmont Abbey College won first place in small school sweepstakes. In addition to that award, the team also carried five other trophies home. Out of 19 novice debate teams, our team of Eric Swartz and Vincent Gillson were ranked first overall after preliminary rounds, winning five of six. Eric also received an individual award for high speaker points. The novice duo went on to drop in quarterfinals on a 1-2 decision to Diablo Valley. Logan Torve and Mary Rose Stepnowski competed in a field of 33 more experienced debate teams. They won half of their preliminary rounds and earned high enough speaker points to advance to elimination rounds. They dropped on a 1-2 decision in octofinals to the team from Rice University in Texas that went on to debate in the final round of the tournament.

WHEATON TOURNAMENT

The Wheaton Tournament was hosted the final weekend of September. We took two teams to the Chicago tournament. Our varsity team of Logan Torve and Mary Rose Stepnowski went 2-4, hitting national top teams during their final two debate rounds.  First year debater Eric Swartz went 3-3 in the junior varsity division, which includes students in their first two years of debate. Additionally, Logan Torve was awarded fourth overall speaker at the tournament, out of 32 varsity debaters. #AbbeyLifeIsGood #FAS

BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE WINS INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC DEBATE ASSOCIATION NATIONAL

Logan TorveBELMONT, N.C. (April 6, 2016) – Logan Torve, a Belmont Abbey College sophomore, won the junior varsity division of the one-on-one debate format at the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) National Tournament held at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, March 30-April 3. After a five and three start in preliminary rounds, Torve advanced through the Round of 32 to the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight, advancing over debaters from Division I colleges like Louisiana State, University of Arkansas, and Boise State. Once into the final four, Torve beat the top ranked junior varsity debater in the nation on a 2-1 decision to advance to the final round against the second ranked junior varsity debater in the nation from Union University. He beat his opponent with a 6-1 decision. Mary Rose Stepnowski and Cameron JonesAlso, at the tournament in the team division, Mary Rose Stepnowski (sophomore) and Cameron Jones (sophomore) advanced to the Sweet 16 after a three and one record, beating teams from Louisiana State, Lenoir Rhyne, and Union University. They lost to the United States Military Academy at West Point on a 2-1 decision in the round of 16. West Point went on to win the team division of the tournament. Other members of the squad traveling to the tournament were Nicholas Otranto (senior), Clare Woollen (freshman), and Alexandrya Pouliot (freshman). All three finished with four wins and four loses in their respective divisions, but failed to advance to elimination rounds. Debate returned to Belmont Abbey in the 2015-2016 academic year after a fifty year dormancy, and this win represents the Abbey’s first national debate championship in the history of the college.

Lenoir-Rhyne Inaugural Tournament

Lenoir-Rhyne_University_sealBelmont Abbey debaters attended Lenoir-Rhyne’s inaugural tournament February 19-20, and the team of Alexandrya Pouliot and Nicholas Otranto went undefeated through five preliminary rounds of debate, finally losing in the semifinal round on a 2-1 decision to a team from Cedarville University, representing a squad ranked fifteenth in the nation by NPDA. Pouliot also earned third place speaker honors.

The tournament featured over twenty teams representing five colleges and universities, among which were Cedarville University (#15), Morehouse College (#20), Appalachian State University (#32), all three squads are ranked among the top one-quarter of NPDA teams in the nation. The other Belmont teams of Gage Hillmann and Clare Woollen as well as Logan Torve and Mary Rose Stepnowski won two of five preliminary rounds, with each team losing their fifth round, the qualifying round for the elimination debates.

Next, the Belmont Abbey squad will compete at the International Public Debate Association
(IPDA) national tournament to be held in Baytown, Texas March 30-April 2.

North Georgia NPDA

North Georgia NPDA

Summary of Results for University of North Georgia Competitio

University of Kentucky 

Photo: (From left to right) Kevin Barrett, Nicholas Otranto, Clare Woollen, Gage Hillmann, Mary Rose Stepnowski, Africa Schaumann, Hannah Glynn, Brooke Keling.

Photo: (From left to right) Kevin Barrett, Nicholas Otranto, Clare Woollen, Gage Hillmann, Mary Rose Stepnowski, Africa Schaumann, Hannah Glynn, Brooke Keling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Results for University of Kentucky

Middle Tennessee State University

Summary of Results for MTSU

Summary of Results for Two National Circuits 

Photo 1

Mary Rose Stepnowski next to a bust of Demosthenes at the Chicago Field Museum.

Clare Woollen’s photo of the Chicago skyline from Lake Shore Drive.

Clare Woollen’s photo of the Chicago skyline from Lake Shore Drive.

Logan Torve investigating the artifacts from Mycenaean period at the Chicago Field Museum.

Logan Torve investigating the artifacts from Mycenaean period at the Chicago Field Museum.