Category Archives: Tournament Results

RUTGERS SECOND AT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

RUDU debaters, alumni, and coach celebrate the announcement that Sean & Quinn were in the octofinals at the Nationals Banquet on Saturday night.  Left to right:  Vidhaath Sripathi, Storey Clayton, Adam Bomeisl, Sean Leonard, Kyle Bomeisl, Deepta Janardhan, Russell Potter, Alex Jubb, Jason Boyle, Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, Quinn Maingi, Kurt Falk, Nick Hansen, Nisha Kumar, and Maxwell Williams.  (Not pictured:  Ashley Novak, Henry Phipps)

RUDU debaters, alumni, and coach celebrate the announcement that Sean & Quinn were in the octofinals at the Nationals Banquet on Saturday night. Left to right: Vidhaath Sripathi, Storey Clayton, Adam Bomeisl, Sean Leonard, Kyle Bomeisl, Deepta Janardhan, Russell Potter, Alex Jubb, Jason Boyle, Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, Quinn Maingi, Kurt Falk, Nick Hansen, Nisha Kumar, and Maxwell Williams. (Not pictured: Ashley Novak, Henry Phipps)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) earned its greatest accomplishment in team history yesterday with a run to the National Championship Final Round by Quinn Maingi & Sean Leonard. The junior/sophomore duo are just the fourth partnership in the 2000s without a senior on the team to make it to the National Final. They also became the first team since University of Virginia in 2003 to make the National Finals from a public institution.

Here are the official accomplishments earned by Rutgers this weekend:
Quinn Maingi & Sean Leonard – 2nd Team
Sean Leonard – 18th Speaker
Quinn Maingi – 20th Speaker
Vidhaath Sripathi – 8th Novice Speaker

After two grueling days of competition on Friday and Saturday, in which Maingi & Leonard defeated many of the best teams in the nation, it was announced at the Saturday night Banquet that they had become just the third team in RUDU history to reach the elimination rounds at Nationals. Ashley Novak & Chris Bergman made octofinals last year and David Reiss & Kyle Bomeisl did the same in 2011.

Maingi & Leonard faced Bates in octofinals and won a 2-1 decision, marking the first time ever that Rutgers won a National elimination round. They went on to rematch against a Johns Hopkins team they had beaten in preliminary rounds and carried the quarterfinal by a 4-1 margin. In semifinals, they faced a Harvard team that had made elims as the top seed, winning all six preliminary rounds including a win over them in prelims. But Rutgers smashed their eight-round winning run at Nationals with a 4-1 win that put Maingi & Leonard in the National Finals.

Despite losing the Final to Yale on a unanimous decision, Rutgers’ intense debate duo has electrified a debate league normally dominated by Ivy League elites. Harvard had won the previous two National Championships and the Ivy League has collectively won 14 of the last 17 American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) titles. The other three were won by Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, and Stanford University. The lone public institution to ever win a National Championship on APDA was the US Naval Academy in 1984.

RUDU finished the 2013-2014 season ranked fifth on APDA in the College of the Year (COTY) rankings. It was Rutgers’ fourth straight year in the top ten and tied for their second-highest finish. The team record was set last year at third. And while the team set a school record with eight qualifications for Nationals, no one among the five teams preparing to attend the Championship saw the run to Finals coming. Indeed, Rutgers entered the octofinals with the #13 seed of the sixteen teams who made the cut, making the Championship Final appearance all the sweeter.

The partnerships that Maingi & Leonard defeated in elimination rounds were ranked 4th, 6th, and 5th respectively in APDA’s Team of the Year (TOTY) rankings. The semifinal team from Harvard ranked 5th in TOTY included one of the debaters who was on the #1 ranked TOTY team. The final round opponents from Yale and eventual Champions were the #2 ranked TOTY pairing. One of those debaters was also on the #3 ranked team, meaning that RUDU’s team faced a debater on every one of the top six ranked teams at the Championships en route to taking 2nd overall.

RUDU has risen to prominence in the last five years after struggling in obscurity during its first decade on the APDA circuit. After being founded in 2001, the team never cracked the top ten in the national rankings until finishing 5th in 2010-2011. The last four years have featured countless successes and qualifications for Nationals, all culminating in this tremendous and almost unprecedented success for a state university.

Rutgers sent four other teams to the Championships, including Vidhaath Sripathi, whose top ten novice speaker finish reflects Leonard’s fifth novice speaker award from the 2013 Championships. If Leonard’s meteoric rise this year is any indication, Sripathi has the brightest of futures ahead for the team.

RUDU spent the four days leading up to the Championships all but sequestered at the “Debate House” at 11 Bartlett Street writing and rewriting cases, running practice rounds and drills, and preparing for the other teams who would be contending at the Championships. The work of the five teams and Coach Storey Clayton was supplemented by an inspiring surprise visit from David Reiss, who was on the first Rutgers team to make elimination rounds and the TOTY rankings. Reiss now lives in Austin, Texas and was flying home for Passover, but chose not to tell RUDU he would be showing up to help out.

Maingi and Leonard will be among the many returning debaters to next year’s RUDU squad who will hope to rise in the COTY rankings and again contend for a National Championship. Sripathi, Russell Potter, Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, and Nick Hansen are all returning debaters who attended this year’s Championship.

RUDU celebrates after the National Championship Final Round in front of the iconic LOVE statue at the University of Pennsylvania. Kneeling in front with Second Place trophies: Sean Leonard and Quinn Maingi. Middle row, standing: Kyle Bomeisl, Deepta Janardhan, Alex Jubb, Henry Phipps, Adam Bomeisl (with 5th Place COTY trophy), Maxwell Williams, Rachel Moon, Kurt Falk, Nick Hansen, Vidhaath Sripathi, and Ashley Novak. Top row: Storey Clayton, Arbi Llaveshi, Russell Potter, and Jason Boyle.

RUDU celebrates after the National Championship Final Round in front of the iconic LOVE statue at the University of Pennsylvania. Kneeling in front with Second Place trophies: Sean Leonard and Quinn Maingi. Middle row, standing: Kyle Bomeisl, Deepta Janardhan, Alex Jubb, Henry Phipps, Adam Bomeisl (with 5th Place COTY trophy), Maxwell Williams, Rachel Moon, Kurt Falk, Nick Hansen, Vidhaath Sripathi, and Ashley Novak. Top row: Storey Clayton, Arbi Llaveshi, Russell Potter, and Jason Boyle.

RUDU 4th at Amherst, Phipps Qualifies for Nationals, Team Finishes Year Ranked 5th in Country

RUDU gathers in the bright sun of the Amherst campus to celebrate the last regular season tournament of the year.  Left to right:  Grisam Shah, Nick Hansen, Ali Ismail, Adam Bomeisl, Maxwell Williams, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Yaqarah Letellier, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Deepta Janardhan, Sean Leonard, Arbi Llaveshi, and Russell Potter.

RUDU gathers in the bright sun of the Amherst campus to celebrate the last regular season tournament of the year. Left to right: Grisam Shah, Nick Hansen, Ali Ismail, Adam Bomeisl, Maxwell Williams, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Yaqarah Letellier, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Deepta Janardhan, Sean Leonard, Arbi Llaveshi, and Russell Potter.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) closed out one of the most successful years in its history with a strong finish at the Amherst tournament. Russell Potter & Alex Jubb made semifinals, Sean Leonard & Henry Phipps made quarterfinals, and Phipps qualified for Nationals in the last weekend of the regular season, breaking last year’s team record for qualifications.

Here are the official results:
Russell Potter & Alex Jubb – 4th Team
Sean Leonard & Henry Phipps – 7th Team
Quinn Maingi – 9th Speaker
Sean Leonard – 10th Speaker

Last year, RUDU set a team record with seven qualifications for Nationals, sending five full teams. This year, Rutgers eclipsed that mark with eight quals, behind only Yale (11) and Harvard (9). Rutgers also finished the year ranked 5th, less than 4 points behind rival Johns Hopkins for 4th. Rutgers has finished one rank ahead of Hopkins in the final national standings in two of the previous three seasons.

The Rutgers debaters qualified for Nationals are Potter, Leonard, Phipps, Maingi, Ashley Novak, Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, and Nick Hansen. All but Novak will be attending the National Championships as she elected to end her debating career at the Princeton tournament in March. The seven qualified debaters will be joined by three teammates to comprise the five Rutgers teams representing the university at Nationals. The National Championships this year will be held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from April 18-20, 2014. RUDU is now beginning its last week of extensive preparation for the Championships, where Novak and Chris Bergman finished 9th overall last year.

Novak finished 7th Speaker of the Year (SOTY), the first time a Rutgers debater has ever finished in the top ten of those standings at year’s end. Everyone finishing ahead of her is an Ivy League student with the exception of one from Brandeis who finished tied for 5th. She was also the second-ranked female speaker in the league, behind Brown’s Jean McCabe, who finished 3rd in the overall SOTY standings. They were joined by Swarthmore’s Jodie Goodman and Brandeis’ Shira Almeleh in marking the most women in the top ten of SOTY since the 2001-2002 season, when half the top ten were female.

The national top five teams on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit were unchanged from last year, though the rankings reshuffled a bit. This year, Rutgers was fifth behind Yale, Harvard, Brandeis, and Johns Hopkins. Last season, Yale was also top, Brandeis second, Rutgers third, Johns Hopkins fourth, and Harvard fifth. Despite finishing 5th this season, Rutgers actually set a team record for rankings points in the College of the Year (COTY) standings, with 257.5 edging last year’s mark of 257.

Here are the final Top 25 rankings for the APDA in 2013-2014:

Rank College/University Points
1 Yale University 558.75
2 Harvard University 343
3 Brandeis University 332.5
4 Johns Hopkins University 261.25
5 Rutgers University 257.5
6 Brown University 245.5
7 Columbia University 196.5
8 George Washington University 196
9 Bates College 193.25
10 American University 157.5
11 College of William and Mary 153.5
12 Princeton University 147.5
13 Swarthmore College 142
14 Boston University 50
15 University of Maryland 35
16 University of Chicago 27
17 Stanford University 16
18 Georgetown University 10
19 Northeastern University 8
19 Providence College 8
21 Tufts University 7
22 New York University 6
22 Middlebury College 6
22 University of Pittsburgh 6
25 Moody Bible Institute 4

Rutgers is one of just three public institutions in this year’s top 25, ahead of #11 William & Mary and #15 Maryland. Rutgers finished ahead of New Jersey rival Princeton for the fourth straight year.

Rutgers 2nd at Binghamton, Hansen and Llaveshi Qualify for Nationals

The RUDU contingent at Binghamton celebrates a double-qualification weekend.  The theme of the tournament was the song "Thrift Shop" and prizes were thrift shop sweaters.  Left to right:  Becky Ratero, Henry Phipps, Nick Hansen, Zach Sinkiewicz, Alex Jubb, Arbi Llaveshi, Sean Lonard, Vidhaath Sripathi, and Quinn Maingi.  (Not pictured:  Daimler Vadlamuri and Gabi Cozzolino.)

The RUDU contingent at Binghamton celebrates a double-qualification weekend. The theme of the tournament was the song “Thrift Shop” and prizes were thrift shop sweaters. Left to right: Becky Ratero, Henry Phipps, Nick Hansen, Zach Sinkiewicz, Alex Jubb, Arbi Llaveshi, Sean Lonard, Vidhaath Sripathi, and Quinn Maingi. (Not pictured: Daimler Vadlamuri and Gabi Cozzolino.)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) broke three teams to quarterfinals at the Binghamton University tournament this weekend, qualifying Nick Hansen and Arbi Llaveshi for Nationals and earning a spot in varsity finals for the second straight week. It was the ninth straight varsity break weekend for the team who is in a close race with Brown and Johns Hopkins for 4th overall in the national rankings with one week left in the regular season.

Here are the official results from Binghamton:
Quinn Maingi & Arbi Llaveshi – 2nd Team
Sean Leonard & Nick Hansen – 7th Team
Henry Phipps & Alex Jubb – 8th Team
Quinn Maingi – 5th Speaker
Sean Leonard – 10th Speaker
Zach Sinkiewicz & Rose Cote [Syracuse] – 3rd Novice Team
Vidhaath Sripathi – 3rd Novice Speaker
Nick Hansen – 8th Novice Speaker

The trip to finals was the second this season for Llaveshi, who also finaled at UMBC with Deepta Janardhan. It was the first for Maingi since he won the Albany tournament with Jubb last year. Both Hansen, a novice, and Llaveshi, qualified for the first time in their careers, though Llaveshi represented Rutgers as the free seed at the 2012 National Championships. Maingi & Llaveshi beat a Yale team in quarterfinals and a Princeton team in semifinals before dropping a 2-1 decision to a Stanford/Princeton hybrid team in the final round.

With the qualifications, RUDU has now tied a team record with seven Nats quals, the record set last year. Phipps fell just short of qualifying after a 2-1 loss to Princeton in the quarterfinals and now stands at 13.25 of the necessary 14 points with one weekend left before the National Championships at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previously qualified debaters this season include Maingi, Leonard, Ashley Novak, Russell Potter, and Rachel Moon.

Meanwhile, three RUDU teams spent the same weekend on the campus of Swarthmore College for a tournament co-hosted by NYU and Rutgers and officially known as the “NYU” tournament. There, Potter and Janardhan made the quarterfinals in a small but extremely competitive field before dropping to the eventual finalists from American University.

Here are the results from that NYU contest:
Russell Potter & Deepta Janardhan – 8th Team
Nimit Jindal & Grisam Shah – 4th Novice Team
Nimit Jindal – 6th Novice Speaker
Grisam Shah – 9th Novice Speaker

RUDU will be sending several teams to the Georgetown tournament this weekend, the last chance to earn qualifications for those who are close, including Phipps, Janardhan, Jubb, and Adam Bomeisl. Any one of them qualifying would set the team record for qualifications. If two or more qualify, Rutgers will earn the right to send six full teams to Nationals. Currently, if nothing changes, RUDU is slated to send five full teams.

The lineup of RUDU debaters and judges for the "NYU" tournament on the Swarthmore campus.  Left to right:  Kurt Falk, Deepta Janardhan, Jason Boyle, Russell Potter, Nimit Jindal, Storey Clayton, Grisam Shah, Brianna Florovito, and Victoria Disla.

The lineup of RUDU debaters and judges for the “NYU” tournament on the Swarthmore campus. Left to right: Kurt Falk, Deepta Janardhan, Jason Boyle, Russell Potter, Nimit Jindal, Storey Clayton, Grisam Shah, Brianna Florovito, and Victoria Disla.

Novak 2nd Team, 3rd Speaker at Princeton

A file photo of Ashley Novak, whose success this weekend at Princeton brought her to 7th in the Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings.

A file photo of Ashley Novak, whose success this weekend at Princeton brought her to 7th in the Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made it eight straight weeks in the break with a huge run by Ashley Novak at Princeton this weekend. The team’s top speaker and former President made it all the way to finals after winning eight rounds in a row with her partner from Brandeis. She also finished as the 3rd place individual speaker and shot back up to 7th overall in the Speaker of the Year (SOTY) standings, the ranking of individual debaters on the APDA league.

Here are the official awards won by Rutgers at Princeton:
Ashley Novak & Russell Leibowitz [Brandeis] – 2nd Team
Ashley Novak – 3rd Speaker

Several other teams from RUDU compiled winning records, including Sean Leonard and Arbi Llaveshi, who just missed making the elimination rounds after a loss in their 3-1 round against a team from Yale. The performance by Novak this weekend all but secures her spot in the top ten of SOTY, the first time any RUDU debater will have achieved that feat.

Two weeks remain in the regular season this year and Rutgers is 6th in the country. With five debaters qualified for Nationals and several more on the verge, there is much hope for RUDU heading into the National Championships at the University of Pennsylvania at the end of this month.

Rutgers Breaks Two Teams at Swarthmore

The Rutgers contingent of competitors and judges at Swarthmore lines up after quarterfinals.  Left to right:  Sean Leonard, Russell Potter, Sarthi Tuli, Arbi Llaveshi, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Farhan Ali, George Alukal, Jason Boyle, Quinn Maingi, and Nick Hansen.  (Not pictured:  Deepta Janardhan)

The Rutgers contingent of competitors and judges at Swarthmore lines up after quarterfinals. Left to right: Sean Leonard, Russell Potter, Sarthi Tuli, Arbi Llaveshi, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Farhan Ali, George Alukal, Jason Boyle, Quinn Maingi, and Nick Hansen. (Not pictured: Deepta Janardhan)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made the elimination rounds for the seventh straight weekend on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit, finishing 6th and 10th teams and inching closer to additional qualifications to the National Championships.

Here are the official results achieved by RUDU at Swarthmore, which broke to partial octofinals:
Sean Leonard & Nick Hansen – 6th Team
Henry Phipps & Alex Jubb – 10th Team
Sean Leonard – 3rd Speaker
Nick Hansen – 5th Novice Speaker

Additionally, Ashley Novak and her hybrid partner were in semifinals at the weekend’s other tournament at Boston University:
Ashley Novak & Shira Almeleh [Brandeis] – 3rd Team
Ashley Novak – 7th Speaker

Hansen now stands just half a point away from qualifying for Nationals, having come up just short in a 2-1 decision in quarterfinals with Leonard. Leonard’s 3rd speaker finish marked his fourth time in five tournaments where he has finished in the top seven speakers and the third time of those where he has been in the top three. With this surge, he now stands ranked 13th in APDA’s annual Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings for the season, and is second among sophomore debaters in the league.

Hansen, meanwhile, won a novice speaker award for the fourth straight tournament, all of them top five placings. He has risen back to twelfth overall in the Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings with three weekends remaining in the season. Novak remains 9th ranked SOTY and has her sights on being the first Rutgers debater to finish the year in the top ten. The current record is held by Dave Reiss, who finished 14th in 2010-2011.

RUDU will be joining the rest of APDA at the Princeton University tournament this weekend, just down Route 1 from Rutgers. RUDU will be sending several teams in the hopes of adding to the five currently qualified debaters to attend Nationals, as well as improving on the sixth place standing the school has this year. Elections for the league’s Board will also be held.

Just before Princeton, RUDU will be conducting its biggest public debate of the semester, on whether Condoleezza Rice should be the 2014 Commencement Speaker at Rutgers. Well over 100 people are already slated to attend the debate, which will be held before the meeting of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), to be followed by a RUSA vote on the resolution as debated. Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, and Sean Leonard will be speaking for the resolution and Daimler Vadlamuri, Russell Potter, and Deepta Janardhan will be speaking against. The speakers will not necessarily be representing their own views on the topic, as is typical in debate.

RUDU Breaks Record 4 Teams to Quarters at W&M

The record-breaking RUDU contingent at William & Mary gathers on the steps of Washington Hall for a photo in sunny Virginia.  Left to right: Russell Potter, Sean Leonard, Luana Wang [Albany], Storey Clayton, Josh Pomerantz, Henry Phipps, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Gordon Morrisette, Nick Hansen, Arbi Llaveshi, Victoria Disla, and Vidhaath Sripathi.  (Not pictured: Adam Bomeisl)

The record-breaking RUDU contingent at William & Mary gathers on the steps of Washington Hall for a photo in sunny Virginia. Left to right: Russell Potter, Sean Leonard, Luana Wang [Albany], Storey Clayton, Josh Pomerantz, Henry Phipps, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Gordon Morrisette, Nick Hansen, Arbi Llaveshi, Victoria Disla, and Vidhaath Sripathi. (Not pictured: Adam Bomeisl)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) broke a record four teams to quarterfinals at William & Mary this weekend, taking the 5th through 8th spots and also appearing in novice finals. While RUDU had broken four teams at the University of Pennsylvania this season as well, two of them dropped in octofinals and thus this was the first time Rutgers comprised half the quarterfinal bracket.

Here are the official RUDU results from the second William & Mary contest of the season:
Arbi Llaveshi & Gordon Morrisette – 5th Team
Quinn Maingi & Vidhaath Sripathi – 6th Team
Henry Phipps & Luana Wang [Albany] – 7th Team
Alex Jubb & Nick Hansen – 8th Team
Sean Leonard – 1st Speaker
Alex Jubb – 8th Speaker
Quinn Maingi – 9th Speaker
Zach Sinkiewicz & Victoria Disla – 2nd Novice Team
Nick Hansen – 2nd Novice Speaker
Vidhaath Sripathi – 3rd Novice Speaker

The top speaker award for Leonard is the third this year and the fourth of his career, both extending team records he set earlier this season. He is now the 15th ranked speaker in the country, joining teammates Ashley Novak and Maingi in the top twenty. The break to novice finals was the first ever for Disla and the third novice break in a row for Sinkiewicz.

Meanwhile, Ashley Novak won a speaker award and broke to out-rounds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) tournament this weekend in Boston:
Ashley Novak & Jean McCabe [Brown] – 5th Team
Ashley Novak – 10th Speaker

The tournaments this weekend ran Rutgers’ break streak to six weekends and pushed several debaters even closer to qualifying for Nationals with a month to go before the prestigious championships. Llaveshi now leads the pack with 13 points of the necessary 14, with Phipps (12.75) and Hansen (11.5) close behind. Deepta Janardhan (11), Adam Bomeisl (8.75), and Jubb (7.5) are also all over halfway. Sripathi broke for the second time in a month and stands at 2 points and Morrisette earned qualification points for the first time this season.

Five RUDU debaters (Novak, Russell Potter, Leonard, Rachel Moon, and Maingi) are already qualified to attend Nationals. The team as a whole is chasing last year’s team record of seven qualifications for a season.

While Rutgers is on spring break this week, the season schedule rolls on with seven teams slated to compete for Rutgers at Swarthmore this weekend.

Rutgers Breaks Varsity and Novice at West Point

The iconic view overlooking the Hudson River from West Point displays proud Rutgers debaters after an exciting run at the tournament.  Left to right: Grisam Shah, Storey Clayton, Ali Ismail, Josh Pomerantz, George Alukal, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Rachel Moon, Nick Hansen, Deepta Janardhan, and Russell Potter. (Not pictured:  Arbi Llaveshi)

The iconic view overlooking the Hudson River from West Point displays proud Rutgers debaters after an exciting run at the tournament. Left to right: Grisam Shah, Storey Clayton, Ali Ismail, Josh Pomerantz, George Alukal, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Rachel Moon, Nick Hansen, Deepta Janardhan, and Russell Potter. (Not pictured: Arbi Llaveshi)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made the varsity quarterfinals and novice semifinals at West Point, making elimination rounds for the fifth straight week and bringing two debaters even closer to qualification for Nationals. Meanwhile, many more teams were just out of the running after losing their decisive fifth round at the competition, with three teams finishing 10th, 11th, and 12th and another just missing in a varsity “bubble” round.

Here are the official accomplishments logged at the United States Military Academy tournament:
Alex Jubb & Henry Phipps – 8th Team
Arbi Llaveshi & George Alukal – 10th Team
Alex Jubb – 7th Speaker
Henry Phipps – 8th Speaker
Josh Pomerantz & Zach Sinkiewicz – 6th Novice Team (broke to novice semifinals)
Nick Hansen – 2nd Novice Speaker
Josh Pomerantz – 8th Novice Speaker

Jubb and Phipps lost a very narrow 2-1 decision to a Yale/Harvard hybrid team in quarterfinals, the closest that eventual championship team came to losing a round all tournament. Both inched closer to Nationals qualification and have five weeks left to achieve the goal, as do teammates Llaveshi, Hansen (who finished 11th at the tournament), Deepta Janardhan (who finished 12th), and Adam Bomeisl (who took the weekend off). While others from the team could also qualify, those six are halfway toward the goal or closer.

Meanwhile, Pomerantz and Sinkiewicz lost a narrow 2-1 decision to a Yale team in their novice semifinal. The novice elimination rounds were aiming for 3rd place as two novice teams made the varsity out-rounds. It was the second novice break this year for Pomerantz and the fourth for Sinkiewicz.

Hansen regained 12th Novice of the Year (NOTY) position with his second-place finish, putting him just six points back of the top ten. Rutgers overall slipped to 6th College of the Year (COTY) with Brown jumping to 4th off of a good weekend at the University of Connecticut tournament.

This weekend, RUDU will travel to William & Mary for the first of two tournaments over Rutgers’ spring break in the effort to return to the top five in the rankings and qualify more people for APDA’s National Championships to be held near the end of April in Philadelphia.

Rutgers in Varsity and Novice Finals at Albany, Moon Qualifies for Nationals

Rutgers debaters at the second annual University at Albany tournament celebrate making finals there once again.  Left to right: Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Nimit Jindal, Ali Ismail, Alex Jubb, Deepta Janardhan, Storey Clayton, Rachel Moon, Quinn Maingi, Nick Hansen, Russell Potter, Becky Ratero, and Chris Bergman.

Rutgers debaters at the second annual University at Albany tournament celebrate making finals there once again. Left to right: Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Nimit Jindal, Ali Ismail, Alex Jubb, Deepta Janardhan, Storey Clayton, Rachel Moon, Quinn Maingi, Nick Hansen, Russell Potter, Becky Ratero, and Chris Bergman.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) broke three teams to quarterfinals at the University at Albany this weekend, with the dynamic duo of Rachel Moon and Nick Hansen running all the way to finals and an ultimate second-place finish. Meanwhile, Nimit Jindal and Ali Ismail broke to novice semifinals and won both out-rounds en route to a second-place novice-team finish.

Here are the myriad accomplishments notched by Rutgers at Albany’s second annual invitational:
Rachel Moon & Nick Hansen – 2nd Team
Russell Potter & Quinn Maingi – 5th Team
Deepta Janardhan & Alex Jubb – 7th Team
Russell Potter – Top Speaker
Quinn Maingi – 6th Speaker
Deepta Janardhan – 7th Speaker
Alex Jubb – 10th Speaker
Nimit Jindal & Ali Ismail – 2nd Novice Team [won novice finals]
Zach Sinkiewicz & Rose Cote [Syracuse] – 4th Novice Team
Nick Hansen – 4th Novice Speaker
Nimit Jindal – 6th Novice Speaker
Ali Ismail – 7th Novice Speaker

With the finals appearance, Moon qualified for Nationals for the first time in her career at RUDU after four previous semesters of competition. Partner Hansen now stands on 11 of the necessary 14 points toward qualification, where he is joined by a crowded field of Rutgers debaters nearing the mark. Arbi Llaveshi stands at 12.5, Henry Phipps at 11.25, and Janardhan bumped up to 11 with her quarterfinal appearance this weekend. Moon is the fifth Rutgers debater to qualify for Nationals this season and Rutgers is tied for sixth in the league with that mark. Top-ranked Yale leads the field with ten qualifications.

At American University this weekend, Sean Leonard and Phipps made partial octofinals and narrowly missed the chance to qualify Phipps with a win in that round.

Here are the Rutgers awards from American:
Sean Leonard & Henry Phipps – 11th Team
Sean Leonard – 7th Speaker

Jindal & Ali easily won both of their novice elimination rounds at Albany after compiling a 3-2 record in in-rounds that put them just 1.5 speaker points out of the varsity break. They beat Fordham on a 3-0 decision and Yale on a 4-1 in finals to win novice finals and finish only behind a Yale team that made the varsity break in the novice division. They both won speaker awards, putting Jindal on the Novice of the Year (NOTY) board for the first time, where he is now ranked 76th in the country.

Potter becomes the second top speaker in as many weekends for RUDU and the sixth Rutgers debater to earn that honor on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit. He now enters the Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings at 38th. He finished 49th in those standings last year.

Rutgers overall returns to the 5th ranking overall in the College of the Year (COTY) standings after a brief dip to 7th last week. With this being the best weekend in some time for RUDU, there’s optimism about further rises to come in the standings. RUDU will send teams to West Point and Stanford this weekend to try to qualify more debaters and further improve their rankings. There are six weeks left in the regular season before the National Championships at the University of Pennsylvania in late April.

Rutgers Breaks at Pro-Ams for 5th Time in 5 Years, Leonard Top Speaker for Record 3rd Time

The Rutgers contingent at the Franklin and Marshall College "Pro-Am" tournament celebrate many wins of prizes of M&M candy.  Left to right:  Suraj Oza, Vidhaath Sripathi, Deepta Janardhan, Storey Clayton, Lin Lan, Zach Sinkiewicz, Becky Ratero, Alex Jubb, Nick Hansen, Sean Leonard, Josh Pomerantz, Gabi Cozzolino, Daimler Vadlamuri, Jason Boyle, Henry Phipps, and Quinn Maingi.

The Rutgers contingent at the Franklin and Marshall College “Pro-Am” tournament celebrate many wins of prizes, including some M&M candy. Left to right: Suraj Oza, Vidhaath Sripathi, Deepta Janardhan, Storey Clayton, Lin Lan, Zach Sinkiewicz, Becky Ratero, Alex Jubb, Nick Hansen, Sean Leonard, Josh Pomerantz, Gabi Cozzolino, Daimler Vadlamuri, Jason Boyle, Henry Phipps, and Quinn Maingi.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made the elimination rounds at a “Pro-Am” tournament for the fifth time in five years this weekend, this time at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). Sean Leonard and Vidhaath Sripathi finished 8th in the second Pro-Am of the year, which is a tournament where all teams are comprised of one varsity and one novice partner.

Here are the official Rutgers results for the tournament:
Sean Leonard & Vidhaath Sripathi – 8th Team
Sean Leonard – 1st Speaker
Suraj Oza – 7th Novice Speaker
Vidhaath Sripathi – 10th Novice Speaker

The top speaker title for Leonard is his third ever in just his fourth semester of debating for Rutgers, giving him the most top speaker awards of any Rutgers debater in history. He surpasses the still-active senior Ashley Novak, who has two career top speaker awards, both won earlier this year. Farhan Ali ’11, Chris Bergman ’13, and current RUDU President Quinn Maingi each have earned one.

Sripathi, meanwhile, becomes the thirteenth debater with points toward Nationals qualification this year for Rutgers. RUDU set a team record last year with fourteen debaters on this list, including a record seven who qualified for Nationals. Currently, Leonard, Novak, Maingi, and Russell Potter are qualified, though five more debaters are over halfway to clinching the points necessary to qualify.

Rutgers’ first break to elimination rounds in its recent revival of the last five years was at the Pro-Am tournament in the fall of 2009, at American University. There David Reiss ’11 joined Bergman in the Pro-Am break, finishing in quarterfinals. Bergman was later on the varsity end of a semifinal appearance with Maingi at the 2011 contest, while Novak and Leonard made semifinals the next year at American as well. Novak and Lin Lan made octofinals earlier this fall at American, making it four straight Pro-Am breaks with this weekend’s performance by Leonard and Sripathi.

RUDU will be competing at two of the three tournaments this weekend on the APDA schedule, including a non-Pro-Am at American and the second annual Albany tournament, where Rutgers is defending champion.

Rutgers Breaks at TCNJ, Phipps 5th Speaker

The extensive Rutgers crew at TCNJ gathers for the photo to document the trip.  Left to right:  Grisam Shah, Becky Ratero, George Alukal, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Nick Hansen, Maxwell Williams, Deepta Janardhan, Gordon Morrisette, Russell Potter, Josh Pomerantz, Adam Bomeisl, Soham Shukla, Henry Phipps, Quinn Maingi, Zach Sinkiewicz, Chris Bergman, Suraj Oza, Rachel Moon, Vidhaath Sripathi, Ali Ismail, and Nimit Jindal.  (Not pictured:  Arbi Llaveshi and Jason Boyle.)

The extensive Rutgers crew at TCNJ gathers for the photo to document the trip. Left to right: Grisam Shah, Becky Ratero, George Alukal, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Nick Hansen, Maxwell Williams, Deepta Janardhan, Gordon Morrisette, Russell Potter, Josh Pomerantz, Adam Bomeisl, Soham Shukla, Henry Phipps, Quinn Maingi, Zach Sinkiewicz, Chris Bergman, Suraj Oza, Rachel Moon, Vidhaath Sripathi, Ali Ismail, and Nimit Jindal. (Not pictured: Arbi Llaveshi, Victoria Disla, and Jason Boyle.)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) maintained its national fifth ranking with another top ten performance at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) last weekend. Rutgers made appearances in both varsity and novice elimination rounds and Henry Phipps won 5th speaker to join the Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings for this first time this season.

Here are the awards RUDU earned at TCNJ:
Henry Phipps & Rachel Moon – 8th Team
Henry Phipps – 5th Speaker
Suraj Oza & Vidhaath Sripathi – 4th Novice Team
Nimit Jindal – 8th Novice Speaker
Zach Sinkiewicz – 9th Novice Speaker

The break for Oza & Sripathi to novice out-rounds was their second as a team, after they did the same at the William & Mary tournament last semester. They dropped a narrow 2-1 decision on Gov against Yale.

Meanwhile, the varsity elimination round appearance was the third for Phipps & Moon. All three, at William & Mary, Penn, and TCNJ, have resulted in 8th place finishes. The pairing is the 40th ranked partnership on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit.

Phipps joins the SOTY rankings as the 46th ranked speaker on APDA. He joins five teammates on that board, led by 8th-ranked Ashley Novak, who is hoping to finish the year as the first Rutgers debater ever in the individual top ten at season’s end. She was ranked as high as first at one point this year, the first time a Rutgers debater has achieved that distinction.

The novice speaker awards were the third for Jindal and second for Sinkiewicz, both just narrowly outside the Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings. Jindal and his partner George Alukal just missed the varsity break this weekend with a “bubble round” loss to American University, the second straight weekend for Alukal bubbling with a novice partner.

Rutgers will be hosting APDA for the tournament this weekend, the thirteenth annual Rutgers Invitational. For the second year in the last three, it will be a major “unopposed” tournament, being the only one on the schedule for the league and hosting a meeting of APDA’s governing body.

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