Mary Wash Debate Team Zooms to national victory

The UMW Debate Team recently wrapped up back-to-back weekends of competitions with a first-place finish at the American Debate Association’s Fall Championship Tournament.

Avery Dover (left), a freshman from Wichita, Kan., and Ainsley Rucker, a junior from Winchester, were undefeated throughout the preliminary rounds and entered the elimination rounds as top seeds. They also each received individual speaking recognitions: Rucker earned second place, and Dover was the top speaker. The tournament, held via Zoom, attracted teams from states across the country, including California, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. The pair debated teams from University of Houston, Missouri State University, University of Minnesota and Samford University.

The tournament’s topic was antitrust reform, and UMW’s team successfully argued both sides of the issue. In the finals, Rucker and Dover effectively advocated for antitrust reforms regarding patents, winning a 3–0 decision over a team from Liberty University.