The Hillsdale College Debate Team traveled to McKendree University, outside of St. Louis, Missouri, this past weekend for their third Lincoln-Douglas debate tournament of the season. The team took second place overall finishing behind Western Kentucky University.
Western Kentucky University is a powerhouse in t
he National Forensics Association, according to junior and Debate Team Captain Hannah Johnson.
“This is what they do,” Johnson said of WKU. “It’s very hard to get on their team. When they show up, you know you’re going down. They’re a good competitor.”
Two junior varsity division debaters broke into the open rounds. Sophomore Katrina Torsoe won the junior varsity division in a 2 – 1 decision.
“The final was interesting,” Torsoe said. “It was just the best debater I had hit up until that point. It was a really good round. We had productive clash. We were actually going back and forth on the actual issues which I love.”
Torsoe also took first place in speaker points while freshman Frank Vitale took second in the second debate tournament of his collegiate career.
“I did much better than I was expecting to do,” Vitale said. “When I was in the advanced category in the first tournament, I only won two out of six rounds. This one I did much better.”
The other seven debaters competed in the open division at the tournament. None of them broke out of the preliminary rounds. Tournament attendance is determined by student availability and who still needs to qualify for Nationals. So far three students have qualified in the open division: Johnson, and sophomores Erin Reichard and Jadon Buzzard. Some team members will travel to Bowling Green University in Kentucky this coming weekend for the first parliamentary debate tournament of the season.