Sunday, March 9, 2014

Idaho State Debate Places Second at Qualifier; Prepares for National Championship Competitions

Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic Prepare for Nationals.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Seniors Matea Ivanovic and Kendra Doty finished the regular season with a second place finish for the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society.  At the District II qualifying tournament, the seniors bested 5 of 6 opponents.  The tournament hosted 14 teams from 5 western states and was hosted by at Idaho State University. Their second place finish secured a slot at the 68th National Debate Tournament (NDT) for Ivanovic and Doty.  The NDT will be hosted at Indiana University in Bloomington, March. In addition to their second place finish, Ivanovic earned another 1st place speaker award, while Doty was recognized as the 5th best speaker at the tournament.

The team compromised of the two seniors has had one of the strongest seasonal showings in years. They won both the Gonzaga University and Weber State University tournaments. They were also in elimination debates at other major tournaments such as Wake Forest University and The University of North Texas.
Kendra Doty and Matea Ivanovic Prepare to Debate at the University of North Texas.
The seniors have proven to be a force to be recognized because they have one of the highest seasonal win percentages in the nation. At 71.7%, Ivanovic and Doty have the 12th highest win percentage in the nation according to  Their elimination debate percentage of 81.8% is the 6th highest in the nation, also according to  This places them above teams from Georgetown, George Mason, the University of Michigan, the United States Military Academy, James Madison, Wake Forest, Emory and many others.  Overall, the NDT-CEDA debate circuit boasts 159 participating institutions and 1,813 students competing in 71 tournaments so far in the 2013-2014 debate season. 

“These two women work so hard. They have had so much success this season and I could not be more proud,” said assistant coach Roger Copenhaver. “Their success at districts this weekend only highlights a small piece of excellence that these two women continue to exemplify.”  

Matea Ivanovic & Kendra Doty on the Idaho State Campus.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Director of the James M. & Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society, Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre said, “This team’s competitive success is a direct result of the massive effort they have invested into debate activities.  I am proud to see them develop such sharp strategic vision and stellar research skills.”  

While other Idaho State students are looking forward to spring break, Ivanovic and Doty are getting ready to attend nationals.  Over the course of twelve days, the team will debate at both the largest intercollegiate policy debate championship (CEDA) and at the qualification only intercollegiate national championship (The NDT). Both tournaments are hosted by the University of Indiana, Bloomington.  During spring break most students will get the chance to relax and take a break from school. This is not the case for the seniors representing Idaho State Debate. Ivanovic and Doty will be competing during 12 to 14 hour days as they seek the ultimate prize, a national championship. 

According to Partlow Lefevre, ISU previously took third place at the CEDA Championship (2006).  ISU has also claimed speaker awards as high as second at both the NDT (2007) and CEDA (2007) in the past.  Partlow Lefevre said, “Talent alone can’t ensure a big win at nationals.  It also requires a certain amount of luck.  But, this team certainly has the necessary talent.”  

Matea Ivanovic & Kendra Doty. Photo by Sarah T. Patlow Lefevre.