SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Union Catholic Forensics Team opened its season with several strong performances at the 26th Yale Invitational this past weekend in New Haven, Conn.

UC's teams consisted of seniors Nora Gerlitz and Bridget McDermott , juniors Gabe Abood and Caitlin Roder, senior Matt D'Aleo and junior Nick Jacus, and sophomores Nadia Blouin and Kaitlyn Monahan.

"Our team has wanted to go to Yale for a long time,'' said Union Catholic Assistant Forensics Coach Sean Gaynor. "It's a tournament full of only the best-teams who competed all of last year, often went to summer camps, and who were dedicated enough to start preparing well before the school year started. Despite the tough competition, our team performed exceedingly well. Our seniors, Gerlitz and McDermott, led the way, starting out Saturday 3-0, and the rest of the team was also exceptional.  All in all, this was a great start to what should be a very exciting year!"

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UC Head Forensics Coach Edward Sagendorf was very happy with how his team performed.

"I'm so proud of the team and applaud their enthusiasm and desire to kick off the forensics season,'' said Mr. Sagendorf. "I commend Coach Gaynor for taking the initiative in piloting this new tournament. The feedback from the students has been very positive."

Roder said Yale provided great experience for the team and set the tone for the rest of the season.

"It was stressful going into it because it was the first meet of the year, so we only had a couple weeks to get ready,'' said Roder, who teamed up with Abood to win three rounds. "But it was worth all the work we put in. For us to do as well as we did with just two weeks to get ready makes our wins very significant. Yale was a great confidence builder for us. It set the tone for a good season. And it was also good for us because the topic (the U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea) is the same topic we'll have at our meet in October.''