Webster Forensics and Debate Team’s Season Begins with a Bang

Oct. 7, 2020

Webster Forensics and Debate Team’s Season Begins with a Bang
Daniela Piazzi

The Webster University Forensics and Debate Team is celebrating after a weekend of big wins. The team competed this past weekend for only the second time this season; seven students brought home 22 awards. The team is competing virtually this season due to the pandemic. Several competition platforms allow students to compete with pre-recorded video or live. 

The students opened their season at the University of Central Florida two weekends ago, bringing three events and receiving awards for all three. The team competed synchronously at Southwest Baptist University (SBU) this weekend alongside over 20 programs, including UCLA, University of California-Berkley, Kansas State University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They also competed asynchronously at the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa. 

At SBU, the team won the Individual Events Sweepstakes and took third place in Overall Sweepstakes. Additionally, Laurel Kratz won the quadrathlon, a competition recognizing competitors for doing well in a number of events. Kratz also finished second in the Bright Young Scholar competition, a category that recognizes students’ excellence across both individual events and debate events. Kratz and her partner, Sarah Hill, took second place overall in public forum debate. 

Student Accomplishments 

The Webster squad won six championships over the two-day event. Other first-place winners were John Wallis in persuasive speaking, Zoe Rollins in communication analysis and Sarah Hill in interviewing, defending her first place title, and winning the event for the second year in a row. Wallis also qualified his persuasive speech for the elite American Forensics Association's National Speech Tournament.

Forensics and Debate Team  celebrates a weekend of wins. 

The forensic team has named this year's season "Forensics Across the Nation" as a virtual competition that allows them to compete throughout the country. Team member Daniela Piazzi competed from her home in Aruba, where she is currently finishing her Webster degree online and working for Aruba's prime minister. The team is excited about the opportunities that virtual competition offers them, including the chance to compete against schools they traditionally only have the chance to see once a year at Nationals.  

The team’s upcoming October tournaments are hosted by Kansas Wesleyan University, University of Central Missouri, and Colorado College.

Weekend of Winners

 Southwest Baptist University

  • 1st in Individual Events Sweepstakes
  • 3rd in Overall Sweeps
  • John Wallis
    • 1st in Persuasive Speaking

American Forensic Association Qualification in Persuasion

  • 2nd in Program Oral Interpretation
  • 4th in Quadrathlon
  • Laurel Kratz
    • 1st in Quadrathlon
    • 1st in Impromptu Speaking
    • 2nd in Bright Young Scholar
    • 2nd in Public Forum Debate (with Sarah Hill)
    • 3rd in Extemp Speaking
    • 3rd in Interviewing
    • 5th in Informative Speaking
  • Zoë Rollins
    • 1st in Communication Analysis
    • 4th in Impromptu Speaking
  • Sarah Hill
    • 1st in Interviewing
    • 2nd in Public Forum Debate (with Laurel Kratz)
    • 3rd Public Forum Speaker
    • 5th in Bright Young Scholar
  • Garrett Dohlke
    • 4th in Informative Speaking

The University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa 

  • Laurel Kratz
    • 5th in Informative Speaking
    • 5th in Impromptu Speaking
  • John Wallis
    • 7th in Persuasive Speaking

The University of Central Florida

  • John Wallis
    • 2nd place in Extemporaneous Speaking
    • 2nd in Persuasive Speaking
    • 3rd in Impromptu Speaking

tags:  school of communications, webster life, forensics and debate, students, webster today,