By Lavonte’ Perdue/Delta Staff Writer

At a recent debate tournament at Mckendree University in Lebanon, IL., every member of the Missouri Valley College debate team who participated got at least one win.

Ethan Hofer-Cassianni and Eva Agcaoili are two of Missouri Valley’s debaters who performed well this past weekend. Both scored 3-3, but Agcaoili topped Hoffer-Cassianni by one because of her gaining more speaker points. 

Hofer-Cassianni has already qualified for this year’s nationals, which will be held in White Water, Wisconsin in April. One of Hofer-Cassianni strongest points when it comes to debating is “talking fast when needed.”

There’s a lot of strategy that comes with debating, but controlling the pace of the debate can also be an advantage.  First year coach, David Bowers had nothing but good things to say about his team and how they performed at the Mckendree tournament.

“It was a good tournament, people kept fighting throughout the rounds,” said Bowers.

There are more tournaments before nationals, meaning three more opportunities for more Vikings to qualify. When it comes to practice Bowers has the team debate against each other and do multiple thinking drills. 

“My expectations to advance at least two more to nationals, and place top 15,” Bowers said.

Agcaoili is a freshman on the debate team and in the last tournament she solidified her spot for nationals by placing top 3 out 25 competitors. When debating, Agcaoili main objective is to be persuasive during each round. In debating each round is 42 minutes long, and the past tournament there were six rounds.  Some of her strong points is just the fact that she’s a good speaker in her own opinion.

To prepare herself for upcoming competitions, Hecaoili would work on finding evidence for the debate topic, or do mock debate with teammates.

“I expect nationals to be hard but fun at the same time,” said Agcaoili.

Many have different reasons for being on the debate team, but Agcaoili’s reason is that debating can be looked at as an intellectual point and it challenges her.