SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- A group of debaters on Union Catholic’s Forensics Team kicked off their seasons with strong performances when they competed virtually in the 28th Jack Howe Memorial Tournament this past Saturday.

The tournament was hosted by California State University at Long Beach.

Seniors Nadia Blouin and Ana Kwiatkowski, and juniors Taylor Benjamin and Mikaila Farrell each came within one win of breaking, and sophomores Alana Beardsley and Jacqueline Carey helped the team finish with a .500 record.

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Dr. Edward Sagendorf, UC Head Forensics Coach, was very impressed with how his debaters performed.

“I am beyond excited and proud of our students who competed this past weekend at the Jack Howe Memorial Tournament,’’ said Coach Sagendorf. “We are entering new terrain in the world of forensics speech & debate and I commend our students for being pioneers in this new endeavor.”

UC Debate Coach Sean Gaynor said it was a unique opportunity for the team.

"This isn't something we'd normally be able to do, fly teams out to California to compete, so in the age of COVID there are new and exciting possibilities,’’ said Mr. Gaynor. “Dr. Sagendorf and I have been working hard to identify tournaments across the U.S. to allow the forensics team to compete in brand new tournaments and compete against national competition."