PCC’s speech and debate team, ranked sixth in the nation and second in state, won eight first places in competition on Nov. 10 at CSU Northridge.

According to Instructor Joshua Fleming, one of the team’s advisors, team members placed first in eight events that they entered.

“[Four] of those [first] places went to new novice competitors, so we’re really excited about that,” said Fleming in an email.

Tory Tunzi, communications major, placed first for Programmed Oral Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation. “Programmed Oral Interpretation is like a mix of all the different genres,” said Tunzi.

At a meeting before the competition, Tunzi was confident in the team. “It’s a different dynamic because last year we [had] so many [people returning] and a bunch of first-years,” he said.

“So this year we have a couple of [people returning] and a lot of new people…By the end of the year [I think] we’ll have good chemistry together and we’ll be able to compete really well,” said Tunzi.

Fleming agreed with Tunzi’s assessment. “[This is] a huge rebuilding year. [It will be] a fun year but we’re starting from scratch,” said Fleming.

Diego Madero, art history major, is the team’s go-to for debate but didn’t compete in the debate events on Saturday because he picked another event. “I am taking another event, which is Persuasion,” he said. “[I will] try to polish that and take debate into our next tournament which is at the end of the month.”

Vanessa Giles, theater major, competed with a piece in prose from a memoir. She explained that the piece has a message.

Giles, who recently starred in the production of Hecuba, compared her speech competitions to acting. “It’s kind of like acting but not quite. There are a lot of rules that come with [the competition],” she said. “It’s fun to do. It’s not anything like being on stage…It’s much different than I thought it would be.”

According to Fleming, another thing that has the team excited is they just received a brand new full time coach, Cindy Phu.

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