The Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team followed a winning fall semester with even more first place finishes this spring at a mix of in-person and virtual competitions.
The team took first place at the Phi Rho Pi Region IV RAFL Tournament, Jan. 7-8. At the College of DuPage Tournament, Jan. 21-22, the group took second overall but was first in the community college division. They added another first place trophy to their collection at the Casper College Tournament in Wyoming, Feb. 4-5, and continued the winning streak at the Harper College Speech and Debate Tournament, Feb. 18-19, surpassing several four-year colleges and universities from around the country while winning five of the 12 speaking events.
At the virtual Illinois Intercollegiate State Tournament, March 4-5, Moraine Valley took second place in their division among 17 colleges and universities throughout the state. Oswaldo Ocampo, of Burbank, was recognized as the Top Novice in Speech to Entertain and Dramatic Interpretation. The team’s co-coach and Moraine Valley communications professor, John Nash, received the Dennis Ross Award, given each year to an outstanding coach.
The team capped the season with two gold medals at the Phi Rho Pi Region Tournament on March 18 and the national tournament April 4-9. Co-coach and Moraine Valley communications professor Krista Appelquist earned the Phi Rho Pi Service Award for 22 years of service. Itzel Rojas, of Oak Lawn, won the Dan Haggarty Award at the region tournament. This honor is voted on by students and given to one student from Illinois who best embodies forensics. Three Moraine Valley students were national champions – Ocampo in Dramatic Interpretation; Aidan McGuire, of Mokena, in Impromptu Speaking; and Robert Murillo, of Chicago, in Persuasive Speaking.
Moraine Valley students on the team include Naail Chaudhry, of Orland Park; Ameet Dhaliwal, of Orland Hills; Alexis Lyons, of Orland Park; McGuire; Chayse Mueller, of Hickory Hills; Murillo; Ocampo; Eliza Perkovich, of Hickory Hills; Rojas; and Eli Zwiesler, of Chicago Ridge.
“I am thrilled that our first year back to face-to-face tournaments was a positive experience for the students. The team worked hard, bonded together as a family and learned what it meant to connect with an audience. I feel fortunate to have been able to help coach the team to a successful year,” Nash said.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist/sport information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.