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Gonzaga’s Top Debate Team Ties for Third Place at Harvard, Dips to No. 4 in Nation

Posted on November 7, 2011 in: Academics, Alumni, Arts, Events, Faculty & Staff, Parents, Students
Gonzaga's Paul Kanellopoulos, standing, puts on a demonstration of debate at Fall Family Weekend. Kanellopoulos and fellow senior Leah Moczulski (not pictured) are ranked the No. 4 best debate team in the nation. Photo by Rajah Bose.

Gonzaga's Paul Kanellopoulos, standing, demonstrates debate at Fall Family Weekend. Kanellopoulos and fellow senior Leah Moczulski (not pictured) are ranked the No. 4 best debate team in the nation. Photo by Rajah Bose.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University’s top debate team of seniors Leah Moczulski and Paul Kanellopoulos, now the nation’s No. 4-ranked team, returned recently from Cambridge, Mass., where they competed against the top 80 teams in the country at Harvard University and finished tied for third place with No. 2-ranked Georgetown University.

After achieving the No. 3 seed in the preliminary debates (7-1), the Bulldogs beat both Emporia State University from Kansas and University of California, Berkeley in unanimous decisions. In the semifinals – a field of four – the Zags made a few small errors against an opportunistic Northwestern University team that cost them the debate. In the other semifinal round, Michigan State beat Georgetown. Northwestern went on to beat MSU to win the tournament.

The Gonzaga team of Moczulski and Paul Kanellopoulos, both from Houston, was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the independent National Debate Coaches Poll conducted in late October; however, they dropped to No. 4 in the newest poll today. Gonzaga, as a debate school, also dipped from No. 3 to No. 4 in the latest nationwide coaches’ poll.

The fall schedule is nearly finished for Gonzaga’s debaters. They will compete at Wake Forest University Nov. 11-14 in Winston-Salem, N.C., and return to the state of Washington Nov. 19-21 for their last tournament of the 2011 calendar year at Whitman College in Walla Walla.

For more information, please contact Glen Frappier, director of forensics and senior lecturer for the communication arts department, at (509) 313-6663 or via e-mail.

Nation’s Top Five Debate Teams

1. Northwestern University
2. Georgetown University
3. Michigan State University
4. Gonzaga University
5. Loyola University

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