The Grove City College Debate Team returned to competition last weekend in the Collegiate Forensics Association’s tournament at Bloomsburg University, earning the one and two spots for top speaker and dominating the field by taking three of six team spots.
New to Collegiate Forensics Association competition, the squad had to adjust to some new procedures and styles, but nevertheless maintained its winning ways in a performance that bodes well for the future, debate coach Jason Edwards, professor of History, said.
Grove City College freshmen were included in the varsity bracket, putting them up against more experienced debaters from other schools.
They dominated in team competition, with freshmen pairings Collin Alexander and Savich Chapman taking second place and Calvin Boss and Joshua Xu taking fourth. The team of first-year debater Ginger Schiffmayer and senior Eden Kleiman captured third place. Alexander was also named the tournament’s top speaker with Grove City co-captain Kleiman taking second place.
An unintentional error by tournament staff led to the varsity team of sophomores Benjamin Anastasi and Priya Petty being left out of the playoffs despite going undefeated in the preliminary rounds. But for that error, the team would have been a top seed in the tournament, Edwards said.
“We do not receive the ballots until after the tournament awards ceremony, so the fat lady had already sung by the time we even had a chance to catch the error,” Edwards said. A protest has been filed and an effort is being made to correct the tournament record.
The team has little time to rest as they prepare for this weekend’s International Parliamentary Debate Tournament at Otterbein University in Ohio.