SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --The Union Catholic Forensics Team continued its impressive season with a strong fifth place finish at a Newark Catholic Forensic League Tournament at Ridge High School last Saturday.   

For the Vikings varsity squad, freshman Casey Arias placed second in Declamation,  sophomore Yvonne Agyapong was third in Declamation, Gaby Hernandez was fifth in Dramatic Performance, Kaitlyn Monahan finished fifth in Original Oratory, and Gabriel Abood and Caitlin Roder advanced to the quarterfinals in Public Forum Debate.

In the Public Forum Debate in the J.V. competition,  Meghan Mahaffey and Taylor Benjamin finished first, Alana Beardsley and Jacqueline Carey were fourth, Caitlin Wong and Reema Sharma were fifth, and Mikaila Farrell and Ava Perona placed sixth.  

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Arias, who lives in New Providence and was a member of the forensics team at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, is shocked by how well she has performed this season. She said her coaches and teammates are a big reason for her success. 

"This was a big leap for me from forensics in grammar school,'' said Arias, who placed third in her first tournament earlier this season. "I never expected to do this well in my first year of high school. I was so lost at my first high school meet, but thanks to my coaches, Mr. Sagendorf and Mr. Rotondo, and all the girls on the team that do Declamation, I was able to adjust quickly and break at my first meet. I'm very thankful and appreciative for all the help they gave me. I couldn't have done all this  without them. I have such a passion for forensics, and I love my team and I love representing Union Catholic.''

UC Head Forensics Coach Mr. Edward Sagendorf was very happy with how his team performed as they gear up for the prestigious 45th Liberty Bell Classic this weekend at the University of Pennsylvania.

"This was a very big tournament in the NCFL, so this was a big one for us,'' said Mr. Sagendorf. "This was the one that really begins to shape who is in the running for the National Tournament (Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago). So for some our students, placing really helped propel them into those areas to lock. For some of the others, it was a really good meet for them to get even more motivated and driven.''