Undebatable success

April 07, 2010

Coach Dan Fitzmier

Debate Coach Dan Fitzmier celebrates NDT second-place finish with juniors Stephanie Spies and Matthew Fisher.

The Northwestern Debate Society once again had a highly successful trip to the National Debate Tournament, held at the University of California, Berkeley in March. Most notably the team of juniors Matthew Fisher and Stephanie Spies reached the final round after going undefeated during the preliminary tournament. They completed the tournament with a final record of 11-1.

The National Debate Tournament is the premier event on the college debate calendar, and Fisher and Spies join the long line of great Northwestern teams to debate there. Fisher and Spies are the 15th team in Northwestern history to reach the final round. To add to their accomplishments, Spies was the 3rd individual speaker at the tournament and Fisher was the 4th ranked speaker.

The Northwestern squad also cleared three teams to the elimination rounds, one of two schools to accomplish this feat. The teams of freshman Peyton Lee and junior Mary Gregg and sophomore Jordan Blumenthal and senior Greg Friend joined Fisher and Spies in the elimination rounds.

Only six schools each year are allowed to qualify three teams to the tournament, making three teams in the elimination rounds a rare event. Northwestern Debate last placed three teams in the elimination rounds in 2002.

Head Debate Coach Dan Fitzmier is looking forward to next season.

"Matt and Stephanie are eager to return for their senior year and another chance at debating in the Finals of the NDT," he said. "Most of their teammates are returning next year and we are adding an outstanding first-year class; the future looks bright for Northwestern Debate."

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