Two Gonzaga University varsity debate teams, including the freshman duo of Abe Corrigan and James Joseph advanced to the elimination rounds in a tournament Oct. 20-23 at Pepperdine University before being defeated in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
The team of juniors Nick Bormann, from Spokane, and Grace Saez, from Las Vegas, posted a 4-2 record in the preliminary rounds, advancing as the No. 7 seed to the elimination debates. In the octa-finals the pair defeated University of Texas-San Antonio 2-1 decision and defeated a talented University of California-Berkeley team 2-1 before bowing 3-0 in the semifinals to a University of Redlands team.
Meantime, Corrigan, a religious studies major from Glenview, Ill., and Joseph, a political science major from San Diego, went 4-2 in the preliminaries and advanced to the elimination rounds as the No. 12 seed. In the octa-finals they beat a California-Berkeley team 2-1 before falling to the top team from Whitman College that went on to win the tourney.
“This was a particularly significant win because the Zags have struggled to defeat Cal for the last few years,” said Gonzaga debate Coach Glen Frappier. “Having success this early in the semester is indicative of the strong work ethic that GU debaters have adopted.”
While it’s too early to know, Frappier said he believes, “We’ll have a great chance of qualifying two teams to the National Debate Tournament this March.”
In addition to these wins, the dazzling GU freshman duo of Corrigan and Joseph reached the semifinals at the Preseason Freshman Nationals hosted by the University of Kentucky Oct. 7-9. The team defeated the University of Iowa 3-0 in the quarterfinals, moving them into the semifinal round where they lost to a Northwestern University team 2-1.
“This is significant, considering that teams that make it to the quarterfinals or beyond at this tournament go on to become some of the best in the United States over the next three years,” said Frappier. “We’re really proud of Abe and James and have high expectations as we move ahead.”
The Gonzaga debate team has been a nationally known and respected program for some time; the team was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Cross Examination Debate Association in 1998 and by the National Debate Tournament national rankings for varsity debate teams in 2002. Frappier was named Coach of the Year in 2001.
The next tournament will be at Wake Forest University, which gives the team a couple weeks off to prepare for the final national level competition of the fall at Wake Forest University Nov. 10-14.
For more information, contact Coach Frappier at (509) 323-6663 or via e-mail.