Par­lia­mentary Debate Club meeting in Kendall Hall. Madeline Barry/Collegian

Lake-effect snow and two 10-hour car rides left the debate team exhausted, after beating Ivy League com­petitors in its first British Par­lia­mentary tour­nament.

While the forensics team took home five awards at the Bowling Green State Uni­versity Invi­ta­tional Sat­urday and Sunday, debate team members trans­formed Hillsdale College’s British Par­lia­mentary Club, which started last semester, into a com­pet­itive team at Cornell University’s British Par­lia­mentary tour­nament.

British Par­lia­mentary debate is dif­ferent from the team’s usual one-on-one and two-on-two debates, because it pits four teams against each other every round. The debate topic is affirmed by the first team, rejected by the second, sup­ported again by the third, and finally rejected by the last pair.

Freshman Joel Meng out­shined the com­pe­tition, breaking into the finals in the novice division and placing in the top four of 84 teams. Because of a mix-up in Hillsdale’s lineup, Meng was paired with a student from Patrick Henry, but the two worked together to see the final round of the com­pe­tition. Doggett said he was impressed with the team’s per­for­mance, espe­cially Meng’s.

“He’s bril­liant, he’s laid-back; there’s that ‘it’ quality about Joel,” Doggett said. “He walks into a room and judges want to believe him. Every format we’ve been into, he’s broken to semi­finals or further. It’s just absolutely incredible.”

Along with Meng, freshmen Henrey Deese and Rowan Macwan also made progress at the novice level, reaching the quar­ter­finals. Sophomore Matthew Kendrick returned to the team for the first time this year, breaking to the semi­finals with the help of his brother, Kyle, a sophomore at King’s College.

Senior Graham Deese and junior Duncan Voyles did not make it far in the open round, because of low scores in early rounds, but the team credited Voyles for leading them in the tour­nament.

“None of what hap­pened would have been pos­sible without Duncan Voyles and Matt Kendrick, who took the British Par­lia­mentary squad from an idea to beating Yale, Princeton, and Columbia in a few months,” Meng said.

In Meng’s final round, he was in the second position, the first neg­ative opinion. Doggett said this was a dif­ficult spot, because the judges could easily forget his argu­ments in the midst of the first and last groups to go.

“You have to find a way to dis­tin­guish yourself,” Doggett said.

Hillsdale com­peted against Yale, Princeton, George Wash­ington, Brandeis, Clemson, Columbia, and Cornell uni­ver­sities, as well as Patrick Henry College.

Mean­while, the forensics team entered Bowling Green with three stu­dents and left with five awards. Junior Steven Custer placed second in per­suasive speaking and fourth in impromptu, while junior Nathan Stein­meyer placed third in radio broad­casting, fourth in impromptu, and fifth in extem­po­ra­neous.

“I think we were all pretty happy with how we placed,” Stein­meyer said. “There were not as many schools at this tour­nament as normal, but there were still some that had very good teams, including Notre Dame, Mar­shall, and Western Ken­tucky.”

While speech team regular Mary Blen­dermann, a junior, took the week off, Stein­meyer said he rejoined the team this weekend and will compete through the end of the season.

Sophomore Nathaniel Turtel did not place but said he intro­duced his new infor­mative speech about “a German extremist group called the Reichs­burger.”

The speech team will compete in the novice league’s state finals Sat­urday.