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New Rochelle, NY (March 2011) For the third consecutive year, Iona College's Mock Trial Team has qualified for the national tournament. Iona was the only mid-sized college to compete in the regional qualifying tournament which was held at Yale University. Iona competed with teams from15 Ivy League schools and large institutions.
Members of the Iona College Mock Trial Team are (l-r): Mary Ann Gallucci (Freshman), Thomas Savidge (Freshman), Joseph Paciullo (Freshman), Zach Benoit (Sophomore, second year member, Anastasia Nitis (Freshman), Kimberleigh Costanzo (Freshman), Amy Cassidy (Senior and fourth year member) Kristin Badalamenti, team captain (Senior and third year member), Giovanna Bove (Junior, first year member) and Brittni Uhl (Senior, fourth year member).
As a result of its performance, Iona was one of seven teams to advance to the "Opening Rounds of the Championship Series" (ORCS) which will be held at Pace Law School, White Plains, Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13. The tournament is being hosted by Iona and Pace.
In this new round, Iona again will be the only mid-sized college competing for a chance to go to the National Championship Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa in April. There are a total of eight ORCS regional sites, each comprising 24 teams. The top six teams at each site's contest this weekend will advance to the nationals. The winners will be announced at an awards banquet Sunday evening at the Crowne Plaza, White Plains.
Iona's team finished sixth with a 6-2 record. Teams competed in four rounds with each round having two judges, scoring in 14 different categories on a scale of 1 to 10 with 140 as the maximum score. The goal is for a team to win both ballots in every round. Whichever teams gets the most points on a ballot wins the ballot.
Here is how Iona scored in each round:
Round One: Iona (plaintiff team) split with Yale University (First Ballot:+2; Second Ballot:-3) Note: Iona was only team to successfully win a ballot against the Yale team in round one.
Round Two: Iona (plaintiff team) defeated Roger Williams University (Ballot One:+18; Ballot Two:+27)
Round Three: Iona (defense team) split with Brown University (Ballot One: -2; Ballot Two, +7)
Round Four: Iona (plaintiff team) defeated. Boston College (Ballot One: +42; Ballot Two: -2)
The final qualifying tournament ranking was:
The ranking of teams with tie-breaking scores was determined by adding up the number of wins of all of the opponents. The logic of moving teams up in the ranking with higher opponent wins is that they faced a tougher schedule.
Iona also competed with teams from Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, University of Richmond, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, St. John's, Fordham and University of Minnesota - Morris. Iona's combined record against these opponents was 20 wins - 10 losses - 2 ties.
In addition to winning a bid for the nationals, two members of the Iona team captured awards. Amy Cassidy, a senior who has been on the team for four years, was honored as one of the top advocates in the competition and Kimberleigh Costanzo, a freshman, was honored as one of the top witnesses.
The Iona Mock Trial team consists of 10 members, 6 of whom are first-year members. Of the six new members, five are freshmen. In addition to Cassidy and Costanzo, other members of the team are:
Kristin Badalamenti, team captain (Senior and third year member)
Brittni Uhl (Senior, fourth year member)
Giovanna Bove (Junior, first year member)
Zach Benoit (Sophomore, second year member)
Anastasia Nitis (Freshman)
Mary Ann Gallucci (Freshman)
Thomas Savidge (Freshman)
Joseph Paciullo (Freshman)
In this weekend's series, Iona will compete against teams from Syracuse (two teams); Yale; Columbia (two teams); New York University (defending 2010 national champion, two teams); Trinity College; Yeshiva University; Tufts (two teams); Brandeis; Boston University (two teams); Dickinson; Brown (two teams); University of New Hampshire; Roger Williams University; University of Massachusetts (Amherst); Georgetown.
This year's competition, organized by the American Mock Trial Association, began in January with more than 600 teams from more than 300 colleges grouped in 24 regional teams. In the ORCS competition, each team will face four other teams. The six teams with the top records after tiebreakers will advance. Students are judged by attorneys. Two attorneys score each trial and a third attorney makes the rulings. There are 170 lawyer volunteers throughout the Hudson Valley and New York metro area who will serve as judges.
The coaching staff consists of Adam Detsky, team caption and Senior Associate at Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP; Michael Gelfand, an attorney in the State of New York; four Iona College alumni: Allyson Crespo ('04), Ashley Reid ('08), Amanda DeRosa ('09) and Nadia Niazi ('10) and was assisted by current Iona student Sheena Wagaman.
Brian Nickerson, Dean of the School of Arts and Science said, "Once again, we extend our congratulations to Iona's Mock Trial team for their very impressive showing against these excellent teams from the Ivy League and other larger institutions. This achievement by Iona is a testament to Adam Detsky's dedication, the students' continued hard work and to the high caliber of our School of Arts and Science, Pre-Law and Political Science Departments. We wish them continued success in this weekend's match-up."
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
For questions or more information please contact:
Public Relations Office
Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
Office: (914) 637-2726
Fax: (914) 637-2711
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