Debate Team Performance Steadily Climbing as Season Cranks Up

Feb. 8, 2013

Now in the heart of competition season, the UT Dallas debate team has steadily improved with each tournament.

Most recently, the team competed at Wichita State University, where freshman Jacob Loehr and sophomore Samantha Varney won six of seven of their debates in the preliminary rounds.

Jacob Loehr

Jacob Loehr

Samantha Varney

Samantha Varney

“Jacob and I work very well together as a team. I think our strengths and weaknesses complement each other's. It’s great to be on a team with someone that you’re also friends with,” said Varney, who is studying accounting.

Varney was ranked as the 10th overall speaker, and Loehr was named sixth. Together the duo was named fourth seed going into the elimination rounds.

The team went on to defeat the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and then the University of Texas, Austin, but the team lost to the University of North Texas in the semi-finals.

“I was the only freshman in the semi-finals, which is both exciting and frightening,” said Loehr. “The UT Dallas coaching staff has done a wonderful job helping with my transition from high school debate to college competition. This year has helped me establish a routine for improving my work ethic and speaking skills. I’m hoping to use this as a method for consistently improving my performance at upcoming tournaments.”

The team of Loehr and Varney also competed in January at the 10th annual Texas Two-Step held at UT Dallas and The University of North Texas (UNT). There were more than 120 competitors at the tournament, making it the third largest invitational event of the season. 

During the part of the competition held at UT Dallas, the Comets won four of six, advancing to the elimination rounds.  The team’s run ended with a loss to Baylor University. During the second half of the tournament held at UNT, the team was 12th seed overall after the preliminary rounds and  advanced as one of the remaining 16 teams, but was stopped by Trinity University. 

“It’s another strong showing for our young team. We’ve been improving and working hard and the results are starting to reflect that,” said Scott Herndon, debate program director.

UT Dallas will compete next at Northwestern University.


Media Contact: Chaz Lilly, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, cll093020@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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December 26, 2014