Hillsdale Mock Trial Team 1150 won a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) by placing fifth at the regional tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana last weekend.
The tournament featured four rounds of trials. During each round, teams had a chance to win up to 2 ballots, which are awarded by judges. Team 1150 won 5.5 ballots.
Senior and team captain Andrew Simpson said there was a little bit of panic on the team after losing 1.5 points to Missouri in the third round. He said the team regained confidence after seeing Purdue’s A‑team, who they swept in the final round.
‘We really wanted it in the final round. 1150’s members gave one of the best performances I have seen them give and after seeing their focus and performance, we were pretty sure we were going to get the 2 ballots we needed,” Simpson said.
The ORCS tournament that Team 1150 qualified for will take place from March 6 – 8 in Geneva, Illinois. Simpson said he is looking forward to changes in the case that will happen before ORCS, which he believes gives his team an advantage.
“Our skills are definitely along the lines of we get new case materials and develop strong cases quickly and efficiently and get them memorized and present them very well,” Simpson said. “Honestly ORCS this year is very much suited to Hillsdale Mock Trial’s strengths.”
Team 1149 also competed at the regional tournament and won 5 ballots but fell short of securing a direct bid. They drew the highest-ranked team in the tournament, the Miami University A‑team, in the first round and lost both ballots.
Freshman Megan Williams of Team 1149, who is competing in the collegiate postseason for the first time, said the regional tournament was more stressful than high school competitions.
“This weekend was really stressful and especially after losing the first round — knowing that you can’t really screw up after that,” Williams said. “It was kind of tense with everybody.”
Junior Sophia Klomparens, team captain of 1149, said there is a chance the team can qualify for the Opening Round Championship Series indirectly but they won’t know for two weeks.
“I’m so proud of all of them,” Klomparens said. “Whatever happens they gave everything that they had and it was such a good run. Obviously it’s not over yet, we’ve still got a nationals bid to go get.”
Several team members were honored for their individual performances. On Team 1150, Liesl Ragner and Ethan Tong won outstanding witness awards, and Mattis Beloncle won an outstanding attorney award. Andrew Shaffer won an outstanding attorney award for team 1149.
Hillsdale Mock Trial Team 1151 will compete for a bid to the ORCS at the regional tournament in Dayton, Ohio this weekend.