By Alessandra Antonacci '20
On the weekend of February 9th, the Fontbonne Speech Team competed at the 44th University of Pennsylvania Tournament. The weekend consisted of four preliminary rounds on Saturday, along with final rounds on Sunday.
In the category of Original Oratory, Alexa Vasquez (Senior) won 1st place out of 82 entries. In the category of Declamation, with a total of 77 entries, Brynn Nelson (Sophomore) broke into quarters and Juliann Bianco (Sophomore) advanced into semi-finals. In the category of Duo Interpretation, with a total of 37 entries, all three of the team’s duos advanced victorious past the preliminary rounds. The team of Arianna Heinsch (Junior) and Larissa Mignano (Junior) and the new team of Alexandra Mauro (Junior) and Stephanie Patella (Junior) broke into semi-finals. The team of Dianna Gentile (Junior) and Jenna Gaglioti (Junior) advanced to finals and won 4th place. In the category of Dramatic Interpretation, with a total of 68 entries, Arianna Heinsch broke into quarters, and Larissa Mignano advanced into semi-finals.
The following weekend, the team also competed at the 45th Harvard National Forensics Tournament. This tournament consisted of two days of preliminary rounds on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as advancement rounds that broke into octas, quarter-finals, and semi-finals. The final rounds for each category were held on Monday, February 18th. Not only was this tournament more lengthy than the previous weekend at UPenn, but it also hosted around 300 entries per category. Despite this, multiple members of the Speech team still distinguished themselves and advanced past the preliminary rounds.
In the category of Dramatic Interpretation, Arianna Heinsch advanced to doubles and took top 50 out of 300 entries. In the category of Original Oratory, Alexa Vasquez advanced to quarter-finals and took 25th place out of 366 entries. In Duo Interpretation, the team of Arianna Heinsch and Larissa Mignano broke into octas and placed 26th out of 200 entries, and the team of Dianna Gentile and Brynn Nelson also broke into octas and placed 25th out of 200 entries.
Overall, the last two weeks for the Fontbonne Speech Team were extremely successful and they plan to continue practicing in preparation for their approaching State Championship.