The RUDU contingent at William & Mary poses on the steps after the most successful tournament of the young season. Left to right: Sahil Bambulkar, Arbi Llaveshi, Nisha Kumar, Rachel Moon, Alex Jubb, Chris Baia, Kurt Falk, Bhargavi Sriram, and Sean Leonard.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) sent four teams to William & Mary’s tournament this weekend and all of them came away with winning records. The second-year duo of Kurt Falk & Alex Jubb made their first varsity break, placing fifth after their quarterfinals loss to Brandeis. Both speakers also placed in the top ten speakers. On the novice side, Sean Leonard & Sahil Bambulkar made the most of their second career tournament, going 3-2 en route to a second straight Novice Finals appearance for Sean. They barely lost a 5-4 decision in Finals.

Here’s the full list of accomplishments for the team in Virginia this past weekend:
Kurt Falk & Alex Jubb – 5th Team
Kurt Falk – 5th Speaker
Alex Jubb – 10th Speaker
Sean Leonard & Sahil Bambulkar – 2nd Novice Team
Sean Leonard – 3rd Novice Speaker

The performance this weekend puts Rutgers into the national American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) rankings at 11th. RUDU has finished in the top ten in these rankings in each of the last two years after first making them in 2009-2010 at 24th. Of the ten schools ahead of Rutgers, five are in the Ivy League. The others are Brandeis, NYU, Johns Hopkins, American, and Swarthmore.

Falk & Jubb as a team and Falk as a speaker are also now nationally ranked in their respective categories (TOTY and SOTY). Leonard has won novice speaker awards at both tournaments he’s attended, but the Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings are not tracked until October.

Half of RUDU’s travel contingent this weekend went to a tournament at Smith College where two varsity teams posted winning records and several novices got their first intercollegiate experience.

The team is splitting tournaments evenly again this coming weekend, with half the club heading west to the University of Pittsburgh’s first APDA tournament and half staying close to home at the enormous Columbia University contest. This will be the last varsity weekend of the month before the novice-only tournaments the following weekend.