New Rochelle, NY (November 22, 2013) The Iona College Mock Trial Team attended their second Invitational Tournament of the season, a 22-team field at American University. This was the team's first competition since Adam Detsky stepped down as head coach and was replaced by Isaac Gilwit and Michael Gelfand. The team finished in second place with a record of 6 wins and 2 losses with a combined strength of 23. Combined strength is a simple metric that measures the strength of a team schedule by adding up the number of wins garnered by a team's four opponents. Iona's four opponents averaged 5.75 wins among them, and Iona had the highest combined strength of any team at the competition. Iona finished in second place and has brought home a trophy.
The tremendous result in the first two rounds placed Iona at the top of the bracket with only two other 4-0 teams: Hillsdale College and George Washington University. Iona drew Hillsdale (ranked #197) in Round 3 on Defense. The round was extremely competitive and came down to the wire. Unfortunately, Iona came up just short, losing both ballots by 3 and 5 points (out of a total of 140 points). Hillsdale would go on to win the tournament with a record of 7-1. This left Iona with a record of 4-2 going into the final round.
When the pairings were announced for round 4, it appeared that Iona had suffered a bout of bad luck. Since round 4 pairings are "high/high", a 4-2 team usually draws another team with four wins or with three wins and a tie. However, due to side constraints (each side must be prosecution twice and defense twice) and other impermissible matchups, Iona drew 6-0 George Washington University (GW) as its round 4 opponent. GW is ranked #30 in the country and, like Maryland, is a perennial contender for the National Championship. GW was the National Runner-Up in both 2008 and 2009. In this tournament, despite GW's impressive performance at the tournament thus far, Iona beat them on both judge's ballots, which gave Iona a 6-2 record and 2nd place in the tournament.
In addition to the team award, Iona won two individual awards. Kimberleigh Costanzo, senior Captain, won an individual award for one of the top attorneys in the competition, finishing with 19 individual points out of a possible 20. Anastasia Nitis also won an attorney award with 18 individual points.
"These achievements are especially amazing given the fact that the coaching change occurred barely two weeks before the tournament," said coach Gelfand. "The students' work and dedication over the last several weeks should serve as a shining example to all at Iona."
The team and the co-head coaches are: Co-Head Coaches - Isaac Gilwit and Michael Gelfand; Team - Kimberleigh Costanzo (Senior)(Captain), Anastasia Nitis (Senior), Mary Ann Gallucci (Senior), Joseph Paciullo (Senior), Amy Wert (Junior), Joshua Myree (Junior), Ariel May (Junior), Stephanie Stein (Sophomore), Kayla Kosack (Freshman), Valery Gabriel (Freshman).