Nueva Beats Top National Team in an Upset

Mar 13, 2017 | Sports

This was a busy weekend for Nueva Speech and Debate. Nueva sent five teams to two tournaments, coming home with one championship, three speaking awards, and four elimination round awards.

Nueva sent two varsity teams to the 6×4 parliamentary invitational — a uniquely structured tournament that divides 24 teams into six pods of four teams each. The tournament is notorious for bringing top competition because of its small size and highly qualified judging pool. Each team debates every team in their pod twice, once on the affirmative and the other on the negative, making six prelim rounds.

Neeraj S. and Leo R. were unlucky enough to be placed into a pod with the number one national team hailing from Los Altos

High School, but still managed to squeak out a win against them. This gave them a 5-1 record overall, which was enough for them to break to quarterfinals. Their bad luck continued, as they once again hit Los Altos in elimination rounds. Unfortunately, they were unable to underdog twice, and dropped in quarterfinals.

Adam K. and Paco P. continued their foray into parliamentary debate at this tournament. Both debaters normally debate Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum, respectively, meaning they are not used to the parliamentary style. They also had an exceptionally difficult pod, containing the number 3 and 17 ranked teams nationally. They managed to win once against the third best-ranked team, ending prelims with a 4-2 record. They were able to break on speaker points, but, like Neeraj and Leo, lost in quarters on a 3-0 decision.

The two freshmen continued the success they had at Stanford, winning every single elimination round on a 3-0, ultimately championing the tournament.

At the Western JV and Novice National Championship, held at San Francisco State University, Nueva entered 3 teams in First Year Public Forum. The tournament aims to provide beginning debaters a platform to compete against other top novice and second-year teams. The tournament featured five preliminary rounds, followed by a break to octafinals (round of 16) for teams that had high enough records. In order to be guaranteed a berth in the elimination rounds, teams needed to go at minimum 4-1 in prelims. Elimination spots were given to 3-2 teams with exceptionally high speaking points. This required teams to constantly be at the top of their game.

Freshman/senior combo Cevi B. and Chace P. ended the preliminary rounds with a 4-1 record, losing their only prelim round in round 5. This allowed them to break into the elimination rounds, where they unfortunately lost in octafinals.

Sophomores Ben C. and Robby V. ended prelims with a 3-2 record, an impressive achievement given entering an event they typically do not participate in and coming back earlier in the week from Costa Rica. Despite this, they were extremely close to breaking, missing elimination rounds by 0.2 speaker points, but still beating more than 60% of the field along the way.

Freshmen Noah T. and Pranav R. followed a similar trajectory to Cevi and Chace; they ended prelims 4-1, losing their final round. However, from then on, it was smooth sailing. The two freshmen continued the success they had at Stanford, winning every single elimination round on a 3-0, ultimately championing the tournament.

In addition, Pranav took 3rd best overall speaker followed closely behind by his partner, Noah, in 4th place. Ben additionally performed impressively, taking 12th best speaker.