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Iona's Mock Trial Team Competes in Elite Field of Competitors

New Rochelle, NY (November 5, 2013)   On October 26-27 the Iona College Mock Trial team attended their first Invitational Tournament of the season, a 22-team field at Columbia University Law School. Iona, the only "college" in the field of universities, joined opponents that included the elite of the mock trial competition world.

The team finished with a record of 2 wins - 4 losses - 2 ties. But do not let the record fool you, “This was actually an amazing weekend for the team and we are very excited by the results,” said Coach Adam Detsky, Esq.

In Round 1, the Prosecution team faced Northwood University. Northwood is ranked #46 in the country (out of 651 teams in 2012-13). They are a perennial contender for the National Championship and were the 2009-10 National Champions.

In Round 2, the Defense team faced Tufts A, the #24 ranked team in the country (top 4%), and an honorable mention team at the 2012-13 National Championship. In the round against Tufts, Iona lost one ballot by 3 points and tied on the other ballot. “A tie and a 3 point loss is no small feat: on each ballot a team can earn up to 140 points scored over 14 different categories, meaning this round was exceptionally close,” said Detsky.

In Round 3, the Prosecution team faced Georgetown, the #36 ranked team in the country and a team that finished in the top 10 of their division at the National Championship in April. Iona won one ballot by one point and lost the other by one point.   It was an exceptionally close and even round.

In Round 4, the Defense team faced the top team from Duke University, the 2011-12 National Champions, the #8 ranked team in the country and also finished in the top 10 of their division at the National Championship. Iona lost one ballot by two points and tied the other.

“While we would have loved more wins to boast about,” added Detsky, “this is as solid a foundation a program could ask for to start the year, especially in the face of what is probably the toughest draw we've ever faced.”

Iona did not go home empty handed. Kimberleigh Costanzo, senior Captain, won an individual award for being one of the top attorneys in the competition, finishing with 19 individual points out of a possible 20. Making the achievement all the more remarkable, she earned this achievement by outranking the top attorneys from the #8 Duke and #24 Tufts teams. It was her third consecutive year winning this award at this tournament - yet another truly amazing feat.

This year’s team has been coached by Adam Detsky, Esq., Michael J. Gelfand, Esq., Isaac Gilwit ’09, and Nadia Niazi ’10.   Both Nadia and Isaac are Iona alumni and law school graduates. Isaac and his family have long-standing roots in the New Rochelle community and Isaac is a former member of the team. Michael J. Gelfand has been Detsky’s right-hand man for the past six years and is an attorney with Westerman Ball Ederer Miller & Sharfstein, LLP where he practices commercial litigation.
The team this year has two goals: qualify for the National Championship tournament and prepare for next year's rebuilding as Iona’s four highest scorers graduate. This year’s team include: Kimberleigh Costanzo ’14, (Captain), Anastasia Nitis ’14, Mary Ann Gallucci ’14, Joseph Paciullo ’14, Amy Wert ’15, Joshua Myree ’15, Ariel May ’15, Stephanie Stein ’16, Kayla Kosack ’17, and Valery Gabriel ’17.

The Mock Trial team receives support from the School of Arts and Science. “The College has funded and supported us for 11 years and it has truly been instrumental in allowing this activity to thrive at Iona and earn a national reputation for excellence in pre-law litigation,” stated Detsky. 

The next and last tournament of the fall semester will be held the weekend of November 16th at American University.