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LSUS Debate Finishes 2nd at National Championship Tournament

April 02, 2018


Spokane, WA--The LSUS Shreveport Debate Team barely missed out on its fifth IPDA Overall National Championship title after making a fierce comeback in the 2018 tournament. Union University defeated LSUS by three points, 102-99, taking the title. Boise State University placed third.

However, led by a run that got five LSUS debaters into the semifinals resulting in a co-national championship title in the Professional Division, and a second place in the Junior Varsity Division, the comeback did give LSUS a national championship title in the Individual portion of the tournament.

The LSUS Debate Team got off to a rocky start Saturday during the Team Division portion of the tournament. LSUS did not advance a single entry into the elimination rounds and found itself 20 points behind the lead going into Individuals. Each team win was worth two points, but only worth one point during the Individual portion of the tournament. That meant LSUS fell 20 wins behind.

Trey Gibson, director of debate, stated, “We sat down with the team, explained the position we were in and told them this was their underdog story and that we believed they could do it.” They almost did. LSUS then advanced nine debaters into the elimination rounds, where points double in the four divisions of individual debate. By the end of Monday night, five LSUS debaters and one Union debater advanced to the semifinals set for Tuesday morning.

Gibson said, “The stage was set for a showdown and we knew that we had to win every round and needed help with a Union loss in the semifinals.” LSUS debaters did their job winning all of their semifinal rounds, but so did Union. Once the semifinals were over, LSUS knew that it lost the overall, but won the Individual National Championship Sweepstakes title.

Senior business major Colby Walker and A.J. Edwards, an MLA graduate assistant with the team, met in the finals of the Professional Division, giving LSUS a co-national championship title. Junior business major Austin Lemoine placed second in the Junior Varsity Division. Additionally, freshman business major Ethan Arbuckle placed second in speaking out of 62 competitors in the Novice Division. The host of the site of the 2019 IPDA National Championship Tournament was also announced. LSUS, in partnership with BPCC and Louisiana Tech, was selected. The tournament is expected to bring 300 competitors, coaches and judges to the LSUS campus next spring.

For more information about the LSU Shreveport Debate Team, contact Trey Gibson, the Bradley S. Kemp Professor of Debate.

Program contact: Trey Gibson, 318-797-5000

Media contact: Lynn Stewart, 318-797-5108

Media Contact: LSUS Office of Media and Public Relations, 318-797-5108

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