With their success at recent tournaments, Hillsdale College Mock Trial has the highest win percentage of any mock trial team in the college’s history.
Both teams 1126 and 1127 attended the Case Western Spartan Throwdown on Oct. 28 and 29, and 1126 competed at the Illinois State University Invitational this past weekend. Team 1126 placed third at both tournaments, taking home a trophy from a tournament in which they have never previously placed, and beating the current national title holder in the process.
At Case Western, team 1126 faced Bellarmine University, the University of Arizona, University of Michigan’s B Team, as well as no. 1‑ranked Miami of Ohio’s A team. Team 1127 had a strong first day according to coach Lindsey Church ’17, beating University of Kentucky’s B team and Michigan State University’s A team. Though 1127 dropped both ballots from Miami of Ohio’s A team, they tied with University of Michigan’s A team, winning five out of eight possible ballots during the tournament.
Team 1126 faced University of Iowa’s A team in the first round, and handed University of Iowa their only losses for the tournament. HCMT went on to defeat Wheaton College, tie with North Central College, and beat University of Illinois at Chicago, with whom they tied at regionals last year. Junior Captain Mason Aberle and sophomore Konrad Ludwig received personal awards for their performances.
According to coaches Jon Church ’17 and Lindsey Church ’17, this year’s team is the most outstanding in the history of Hillsdale College.
“From Lindsey’s and my perspective, both from personal observation and statistics, we are the best we’ve ever been,” Church said.
Team 1126 has the highest win percentage of any team Hillsdale has ever had, with a record of 20 – 1‑1. Team 1127 is on its way to taking over the 7th highest spot this weekend’s University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Illini Invitation.
Sophomore Emma Eisenman said she is proud of her team’s accomplishments.
“This year there are so many new people. It’s almost all underclassmen and a lot of people’s first year,” she said. “It’s crazy we are holding this record and knocking teams off the scoreboard like it’s our job, and other teams are stacked.”
Next week, members of teams 1126 and 1127 will be more officially separated — or “stacked” — into A and B teams, which will be the official teams for the rest of the season. Though Mock Trial is separated, the coaches emphasized the importance of having two strong, unified teams.
“Team unity is a big thing,” Jon Church said. “You talk to good programs, and people fear hitting the school’s B team as much as their A team. We have such talent and we are trying to make the transition from having one competitive team to having both competitive, A and B. Both teams are really expected to perform at the level of another school’s A team.”
Jon Church said one of the HCMT’s goals is to send both teams to the American Mock Trial Association Open Round Championship Series in March, and to send at least one team to Nationals in April.
“We have a team that really wants to win,” junior and team 1126 Captain Mason Aberle said. “We don’t want to win just for the sake of it but because of our standards. All of us go into it with a sense of duty to coaches, teammates, captains, and that is exactly what you need.”
Team 1126 will compete at the Yale Invitational tournament and team 1127 will compete at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational from December 2 – 3 before taking winter break.