Gonzaga debate team builds momentum with U. of Kentucky showing

GU 2021 Debate Team poses for a photo
Top row L-R - Abby Morioka, Tyler Zabolio, Nick Dawson. Bottow row L-R - Molly Martin, Andrea Moreno, Avalyn Hine

October 29, 2021
Tom Miller

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University advanced three debate teams to elimination rounds at a University of Kentucky tournament held virtually Oct. 2-4. Five students earned recognition among the event’s top speakers.

Varsity partners Molly Martin, a senior from Sacramento, California, and Avalyn Renee, a junior from Boise, Idaho, posted a 4-2 record in the preliminary rounds with wins over Georgetown, Michigan, Texas and George Mason. They lost a 2-1 decision to Wake Forest in an elimination round, but both Renee and Martin earned individual honors as the ninth and 13th best speakers in the field of nearly 200 debaters.

In the junior varsity division, first-year students Nick Dawson, of Spokane, and Tyler Zabolio, of Olympia, Washington, posted a 6-0 record in preliminaries and beat Michigan State 3-0 in the quarterfinals before losing to Macalester College in the semifinals.

Also in the junior varsity division, the first-year team of Andrea Moreno of Salt Lake City and Abby Morioka of Sacramento posted a 3-3 record in preliminaries, defeated No. 2-seed Houston in the quarterfinals and advanced to the finals before ending up second behind Macalester.

Judges ranked Dawson, Moreno and Morioka as the first, fifth and eighth best speakers, respectively, in their division.

The topic for the 2021-22 season centers on questions of antitrust law and whether the United States should increase prohibitions of private sector anticompetitive business practices by expanding the scope of the core antitrust laws.

“This is a large and complex area of law, one that most college students don’t have too much experience with, which initially posed a challenge as coaches and students prepared for the season,” said Glen Frappier, director of Gonzaga’s debate program. “But this group has responded well, they’ve been putting in the time in and out of practice, and they are setting a great tone for the rest of our season.”

The next competition, again virtual, is a Harvard University tournament Oct. 30-Nov. 1.


For more information, contact Glen Frappier: frappier@gonzaga.edu