Monday, December 16, 2013

Idaho State Seniors Win the Mukai Classic at Weber State University

The Idaho State University Debate team finished off the fall semester with another big win. Seniors Matea Ivanovic (Boise, ID) and Kendra Doty (Boise, ID) won The Weber State Mukai College Classic on the weekend of November 23rd. This was the 3rd tournament win and the 4th final round appearance for the Idaho State Debate Team this semester. It was also the second tournament win for the seniors. Additionally Ivanovic was given the honors of the top individual speaker at the tournament, while Doty was honored as the 4th best speaker.

Ivanovic and Doty continue to show that they are among the best in the nation. Currently, Ivanovic and Doty with an overall win percentage of 78.4% have the fifth highest win percentage in the nation. In single elimination debates they have a win percentage of 88.9% and are the third most winning team in elimination debates in the nation. This puts them above teams from Harvard, George Mason University, Georgetown University, The University of Michigan, The University of Kansas, Wake Forest University, and California State University at Berkley, to name a few.

The team as a whole has had an outstanding semester with three tournament wins and several speaker awards.  In September, Doty and Ivanovic won the Jesuit Debates at Gonzaga with a 90% win percentage.  Ivanovic was also named the top speaker at Gonzaga. 

Kendra Doty, Lindsay Vanluvanee, & Matea Ivanovic.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
In October, the Junior Varsity debaters had strong showings at both Lewis and Clark College and The University of Puget Sound.  Sam Bollinger (Pocatello, ID) and Andrew Hoth (Boise, ID) took second in the Junior Varsity division at Lewis and Clark College where there were 250 debate entries from 47 different schools from 13 states. Bollinger was recognized as the top speaker at the tournament, while Hoth was recognized as the third speaker.

Also in October, debaters Brock Sondrup (Idaho Falls, ID) and Jakob Meng (Idaho Falls, ID) won the Junior Varsity division at the University of Puget Sound Logger debate tournament.  Sondrup and Meng did not lose a single debate on their way to victory.  Also in Tacoma, Meng was recognized as the 2nd best speaker. Sondrup was awarded the 3rd place speaking award. 

Other students representing the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society this semester included: Mike Eyre (Boise, ID), Anne Johnson (Pocatello, ID), Robyn Hemmert (Soda Springs, ID), Samantha Richardson (Boise, ID), Zach Sayles (Rupert, ID), and Sasha Ivanovic (Boise, ID).

“I keep thinking the team can’t get any better.  But, the debaters always seem to exceed my expectations with one more win or another speaker award.  I could not be happier with the effort and dedication put forward by each and every member of the team this past semester,” said Sarah Partlow-Lefevre, Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society. 
“The team had such an impressive first semester,” said assistant coach Roger Copenhaver. “I can’t wait to see the extraordinary things the debaters will do in the spring.”

Currently, the debaters are heading to finals and winter break.  But, competition will resume next semester as the team travels to tournaments at the University of North Texas, The University of Utah, Weber State University, Whitman College, The University of Texas at Austin, the District 2 Tournament hosted by Idaho State University, and CEDA Nationals & the National Debate Tournament at The University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Kendra Doty.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Matea Ivanovic.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Idaho State University Sophomores Sweep Their Division - Win Tournament

The Idaho State University debate team won high honors at their third competition this season. On October 25-28, 2013 sophomores Brock Sondrup (Idaho Falls, ID) and Jakob Meng (Idaho Falls, ID), along with, freshman Sasha Ivanovic (Boise, ID) and Michael Eyre (Boise, ID) debated in parliamentary debate at The University of Puget Sound Logger Invitational in Tacoma, WA,

The sophomore team Sondrup and Meng took 1st place in the junior varsity division. Meng was recognized as the 2nd best speaker. Sondrup was awarded the 3rd place speaking award. In preliminary debates there is one judge deciding who wins. In single elimination debates, debaters compete in front of a three judge panel made up of coaches from third party schools. Meng and Sondrup won ballots from all twelve judges in six preliminary debates and in two single elimination debates (semis and finals). They did not lose a single ballot.

Brock Sondrup & Jakob Meng.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre
Additionally, the freshman team, Ivanovic and Eyre have made improvements finishing with a 3-3 record in the varsity division after losing their last debate to tough team from The University of California at Berkley. However, the freshman team had an impressive win upsetting a nationally recognized team from The University of Oregon.

Out of the four tournaments that the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society has traveled to this semester, this was their third final round appearance, and second tournament win. The University of Puget Sound tournament hosted schools from the west coast. Concordia University at Irvine, The University of California at Berkley, The University of Montana, The University of Oregon, and The University of Washington were in the field.  

“I am constantly inspired by the amount of work and research the debaters put in. We have a young team, but they continue to surprise me and exhibit a large amount of talent and an even stronger desire to learn, said assistant debate coach Roger Copenhaver. “Our debaters continue to show us that they have the ability to compete against some of the best teams in the nation.”

Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, Sarah Partlow-Lefevre said, “We are lucky to have such talented coaches and debaters. Assistant Coach Copenhaver has helped them to focus on individual growth through teamwork. In this way, the debaters are building strong friendships and competitive success.”

The team finishes out its fall semester with two policy style debate tournaments at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 15-19) and Weber State University in Ogden, Utah (November 22-25). 
Mike Eyre, Jakob Meng, Brock Sondrup, Sasha Ivanovic at UPS.  Photo by Roger Copenhaver.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Idaho State Takes Second Place at Lewis and Clark

Idaho State University sophomores Samantha Bollinger and Andrew Hoth took second place in the Junior Varsity division at the Lewis and Clark Debate Tournament in Portland, OR on the weekend of October 12-13, 2013. Bollinger was recognized as the top speaker at the tournament, while Hoth was recognized as the third speaker. 

The sophomore team entered the tournament that hosted 250 debate entries from 47 different schools in 13 states. Bollinger and Hoth finished preliminary debates with an undefeated 6-0 record and entered single elimination debates as the top seed. Their wins were against teams from The University of Washington, Western Washington University, The University of Nevada at Reno, and Boise State University. Their one loss came in the final round against Whitman College.

Andre Hoth & Samantha Bollinger at Lewis and Clark.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
This tournament marked a first for the Idaho State Debate Team. They were new to competing in parliamentary debate sanctioned by the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA).  This type of debate requires broad knowledge of current events and debate skills.  It is particularly challenging because there is a different topic in each debate.  Debaters must also be prepared to debate all sides of any given topic.  Over two days, the Idaho State students debated the government shut down, the federal minimum wage, U. S. military presence in Africa, the Iranian nuclear program, undocumented immigrants, the Employment Non Discrimination Act, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, and National Security Agency surveillance programs. 

The James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society fielded four teams in three different divisions. In addition to Hoth and Bollinger, the following students participated: Aljosa Ivanovic, Mike Eyre, Robyn Hemmert, Anne Johnson, Zach Sayles, and Samantha Richardson.

“We were nervous trying out a new form of debate,” said Sarah Partlow Lefevre, Director of the Rupp Debate Society.  “But, this early success bodes well for our ability to be competitive in the parliamentary format.  All the debaters did a great job and learned a lot about many topics.”

“This was the season opener for many of our teams and our first time attending the Lewis and Clark Tournament. Our success at this tournament shows promise for another successful year for ISU debate. Our team values a tradition of excellence and I am excited to see the debaters continue in their success,” said assistant debate coach, Roger Copenhaver.

The team will travel to the University of Puget Sound, Wake Forest, and Weber State University over the remainder of the fall semester.  The next tournament will be held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA during the weekend of October 25-28, 2013.

Front Row: Sasha Ivanovic, Zach Sayles, Samantha Bollinger, Andrew Hoth, Roger Copenhaver.  Back Row: Anne Johnson, Robyn Hemmert, Samantha Richardson, Mike Eyre.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefere.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Idaho State Debate Wins First Place Team and Speaker Awards at Large Regional Tournament

On the last weekend of September, seniors Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty debated for approximately 25 hours in a total of 10 debates to win the Gonzaga University Jesuit Debates. Ivanovic and Doty, who are members of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, participated in six preliminary debates over two days to qualify for the single elimination bracket. During the preliminary debates, their record was 5-1 or 83%. Overall, their record was 9-1 or 90%. Ivanovic won the first place individual speaker award based on judge ratings of her performance during each of the six preliminary debates.

Kendra Doty & Matea Ivanovic, First Place Team at Gonzaga.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
The Gonzaga tournament is hosted every fall and attracts teams from as far away as Kansas and California. The tournament, hosted forty individual teams from thirteen schools including Emporia State, last year’s national championship debate squad. Additionally, teams from Arizona State, California State at Fullerton, University of California at Berkeley, Gonzaga, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Oklahoma University, Puget Sound, Weber State University, and Whitman College.

The tournament uses the Cross Examination Debate Association debate topic. This year the topic is: Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing; indefinite detention; offensive cyber operations; or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities. Each team has an equal number of affirmative and negative debates in preliminary rounds. In single elimination debates, the side is usually determined by a coin toss.

Due to high marks for individual speaking, Ivanovic and Doty entered single elimination debates as the fourth seed of sixteen. In the sweet sixteen, they debated Jenna Bauer and Dillon Johnson from Gonzaga. All three judges voted negative for Idaho State. In the quarter finals they faced off against Mia Epner and Joshua Martin from the University of California, Berkeley. A 3-0 decision in their favor determined that they would advance to the semi-finals. In the semi-final debate, they faced Evan Jones and Jeremiah Worrell from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In another decisive 3-0, Idaho State learned they would be debating in finals.

According to Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, Dr. Sarah Partlow-Lefevre, “After 22 hours of debate over three days, the debaters were tired, but the adrenaline was there and they performed well in the final round.” Indeed, Ivanovic and Doty claimed the first place trophy on a close 2-1 decision over Christian Rodriguez and Alex Velto who were representing the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Assistant Coach Lindsay Vanluvanee said, “This is the result of years of practice and countless hours of preparation over weeks. It makes me proud to see Kendra and Matea’s hard work pay dividends.”
Matea Ivanovic, First Speaker at Gonzaga.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefvere.