SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University debate team, ranked No. 8 in the most recent coaches’ poll and No. 15 in the latest National Debate Tournament rankings, returned today with mixed results from tournaments at the University of Southern California (Jan. 3-5) and California State University at Fullerton (Jan. 7-9).
At the USC Alan Nichols Debate Tournament, the Zags’ top team of Houston natives senior Leah Moczulski and junior Paul Kanellopoulos posted a 4-2 record, defeating teams from Wake Forest, University of California at Berkeley, and Missouri State and Harvard universities. The Gonzaga pair advanced to the elimination debates as the No. 23 seed but was defeated by Northwestern University on a split decision in the first elimination debate.
At the CSUF Winter Tourney, the Kathryn Classic, Moczulski and Kanellopoulos also posted a 4-2 record in preliminary debates, beating teams from Whitman College and Harvard, Vanderbilt, and Towson universities. This time, the top Bulldogs’ team advanced as the No. 15 overall seed and Moczulski was named the No. 12 overall individual speaker at the tournament (of approximately 250 debaters). In the first elimination debate, Moczulski and Kanellopoulos defeated the University of Georgia and advanced to the final 16 teams and a rematch against the No. 2 overall seed from Northwestern University. The Wildcats defeated the Zags on a unanimous decision. Northwestern is coached by Jeff Buntin, a Gonzaga assistant debate coach from 2006-08.
“It is safe to say we are looking forward to another opportunity to debate Northwestern University,” said Glen Frappier, Gonzaga’s coach. Approximately 125 teams nationwide attended each tournament, he added.
Moczulski and Kanellopoulos will take a break this coming weekend while the rest of the team competes at the 8th Annual Cal Invitational Debates, Jan. 15-17, at the University of California, Berkeley. After that, the Zags’ next tournament – their final of the regular-season – will be at the University of Kentucky.
“Leah (Moczulski) and Paul (Kanellopoulos) are putting together a very strong season and it’s very possible they will receive one of the 16 at-large bids available to the National Debate Tournament,” Frappier said. “Teams receiving the coveted at-large bids do not have to qualify for the NDT through their district tournaments and instead receive automatic berths to the NDT.”
For more information, please contact Gonzaga debate Coach Glenn Frappier at (509) 313-6663 or via e-mail.