Speech and Debate Goes to Yale!

Alexandria Salvato
As the 2023-2024 school year begins, the Speech and Debate team kicked off their season this weekend at Yale University’s annual invitational tournament. With much competition from schools across the nation, the team took home not just trophies but also newfound motivation for their upcoming tournaments.

“I was a little nervous, but also was so excited because it’s my favorite tournament of the year and is always a good time in and out of round,” said Rachel Ruggeri ‘24, Speech and Debate Captain. 

The team had a minor delay in travel due to the weather, but they didn’t let that stop them! They were on the road early Saturday morning and made it to Yale University, ready to compete. They competed all day from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with speech students competing in four rounds, each lasting around an hour. Congressional debaters, who take part in a mock version of what a real Congress does when deciding on bills, had rounds in two increments, debating topics such as sugar taxes on third-world countries and bills being passed by NATO. 

The team found out the results late that night: Rachel Ruggeri ‘24 and Luca Marianova ‘24 advanced to finals in Congressional Debate! Both are national qualifiers and have competed against some of the best speakers in the country. Rachel is now ranked the 26th-best Congress speaker in the country.

“I feel like this trip was a great start to our upcoming season,” said Casey Schriver ‘25, member of the Speech and Debate Team.

This has been a very successful tournament for Xaverian that always helps kick off the school year for the team. Mr. Gorman, the team’s coach, felt that the team was very strong this weekend, with its two members moving on to the semi-finals.

“This weekend really helped us pave the way for the rest of the season and gave everyone a sense of how they’re doing and what they need to improve on. Overall, a successful weekend!” said Mr. Gorman. 

The team can’t wait to see what the upcoming season brings!


Established in 1957, Xaverian is one of thirteen schools nationwide sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers.