Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Wow, has today been a busy day. We started out this morning with our two octo-finals rounds, both against Indian teams. The first team we mooted against, Team J, was very good, and beat us by a small, nine-point margin. It was a tough matchup and the judges had some good questions.
Immediately following, we faced our second matchup against Team A. We were in a room we hadn’t yet competed in that was directly next to the round and with the podium far away from the judges. We had to really project our voices to be heard over the sounds of traffic, and had to lean in close to understand the judges. We were happy to find that we won the round, and moved into the next seeding with a 1-1 record for the round. We were aware there was a chance we could be out, depending on how many of the other 16 teams were 1-1, and their scores.
Results were announced, and we found out we had barely scraped in to the top 8 at the 8th seed! We were very thankful to be in, as we were the only non-Indian team left in the entire competition. Being 8th seed meant we would next be facing the 1st seed, Team Q. Team J informed us that Team Q had beat them in their second octo-final round, so we knew we were in for a touch matchup. Although we were already exhausted at this point, we didn’t have time to go back to the hotel, so Justin and I stayed at the college and reworked our arguments with some comments we had received from previous judges. Our new arguments looked great, and we looked forward to going in to the next round with confidence.
As respondents, we were up after Team Q had already performed. Their round took a little longer than anticipated, so Justin and I were a little nervous by the time it was our turn. Unfortunately, we were in the same courtroom next to the road as earlier, and as soon as I started speaking and attempting to project my voice, I had a coughing fit. I thankfully stuck through it although my voice was cracking at times. I didn’t feel great when I sat down, but Justin got up to speak and had an amazing round! His new draft of his argument was really great, and you could tell the judges agreed with a lot of what he said.
The judges deliberated for over 20 minutes. It felt like the longest waiting period of my life. When the results were in, the judges prefaced the results by telling us how tough of a decision it was and how incredible both teams had performed. Our hearts obviously sank, quite a lot, when Team Q was announced the winner. We later found out that they won by a margin of only 13 points. While Justin and I were obviously incredibly disappointed, we knew we had absolutely worked as hard as we could and performed our absolute best.
Immediately after the rounds, the entire group headed to The Village – a traditional Indian restaurant with foods from all over the country. There was dancing, henna tattoos, palm reading and more! It was nice to relax and have some fun after a disappointing loss. We danced until the restaurant closed, and headed home for a good night’s sleep. Despite the loss, we are so proud of our performance and await to see where we ranked from 5th to 8th place, and for our individual speaker ranks. Thank you all for your support of us in this competition! We are so grateful for all the love that has been shown for our team this year.
Talk to you soon!