RUDA moves toward Nationals with high hopes

After a series of wins at last week’s regionals, the Regent University Debate Association (RUDA) goes into round two with confidence.

Success at regionals

Last week at the American Moot Court Association regionals, six students from Regent’s Debate Association had the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with schools like Liberty University and Patrick Henry College.

In a sweeping success, every team that attended qualified to go to Nationals. However, this weekend, another set of students goes back to regionals for their own shot at national-level debate. One student looking forward to the challenge is Hannah Lillemo.

“If we can send more than four teams to Nationals this year,” said Lillemo, a third-year student in International Studies and second-year veteran of RUDA, “We’ll be breaking a personal school record. Hopefully, we’ll see more achievements at a national level.”

“One of my best friends was the president for a few years, and she encouraged me to do it multiple times,” said Lillemo, who became involved with RUDA in her second year of college. “I finally tried it one year and loved it.”

Though it is a personal goal of Lillemo’s to make it to Nationals, her bigger hope is that RUDA will bring glory to God through everything the teams say and present.

When asked about the team’s chances, the outlook was positive.

“We’ve put in a lot of work,” said Lillemo, “Our coach Jess and assistant coach Jessie have worked tirelessly with us many times a week for the past few months and I think the team is confident. We’re excited to finally test our metal against other teams.”

The challenge continues

Some of the competition at the matches this weekend will be more teams from Liberty and Patrick Henry as well as William and Mary and many other schools. Friday will open with each team being guaranteed three rounds, but on Saturday, elimination matches begin.

For those who make it to Nationals, the work is just beginning. The further each team advances, the more challenging the competition grows. However, even in the face of adversity, the team remains confident.

“The wins last week have definitely boosted morale,” said Lillemo in closing, “It’s encouraged us to engage well and finish strong.”

Rebecca Presnall is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.