The Pacific Speech and Debate team is off to a strong start for the 2011-12 season.

So far, the team has participated in three tournaments.

On Oct. 1-2 the team finished second overall out of more than 10 teams at the Virginia is for Lovers event hosted by George Mason University and James Madison University. The second day of the tournament was also successful for the Boxers as they finished fourth overall.

The five members that participated in the tournament: Matthew Yasouka, Lilly Huynh, Lindsey McLaughlin, Brianna Castellini and Colton Markam collectively took home 15 individual awards over the two days.

On Oct. 7-9 at the Lewis & Clark College’s annual Steve Hunt Classic, the Boxers took home a third place finish overall out of over 30 teams.

Assistant Director of Forensics David Maile attributes the team’s success to several factors.

He said that because of a strong recruitment of five new freshmen along with four-year veterans Huynh and McLaughlin, the team comprises of 12 solid members as opposed to seven maximum last year.

“We started off better this year largely because of numbers,” said Maile. “The new recruits have really added to the program and the potential for this program is really high this year.”

Maile said that practice for the upcoming tournaments is mostly done on an individual basis.

He said he saw the team is still improving which was nice to know that they are continuously getting better.

“The program has clearly grown especially from last year,” said Maile. “The overall culture of the team has changed for the better.”

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