The Phoenix Debate Team Qualifies for Super Regionals

On March 26, the Phoenix Debate Team competed at VHSL Regionals; all competitors qualified for VHSL Super Regionals.


Alyssa Yoon

These Phoenix debaters qualified for VHSL Super Regionals

Alyssa Yoon, Managing Editor

The Virginia High School League (VHSL), the organizing body of Virginia’s high school debate teams, is committed to the educational development of individuals through Congressional Debate. They promote leadership and communication skills through debates on issues confronting democracy. 

VHSL has three levels: Regionals, Super Regionals, and States. The competitions that take place under VHSL are separate from the competitions in the normal debate season, but like in normal debate competitions,  there are three types of debate: Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Congress. Students from around Virginia are welcome to compete in this tournament. In the case of the Phoenix, people from all three types of debate completed and all were able to advance to Super Regionals. 

As the Phoenix prepare for Super Regionals on April 2, they reflected on their performances.

Junior Avinash Byakod: Lincoln Teams (partnered with Jatin Palvai)

Q: How did regionals go for you, personally?

A: Regionals went really well. We hit some tough teams, but ended up winning all of our rounds and getting first in the region.

Q: What do you think you did well in regionals?

A: One thing we did particularly well was time management. This tournament had shorter speeches and lower prep time, but we still managed to finish everything.

Q: What do you need to improve on?

A: Questioning and crossfires — they ended up being chaotic and there were very few meaningful questions and answers from our side in the rounds.

Junior Keerthi Maddipatla: Lincoln Solo

Q: How did regionals go for you? 

A: I haven’t competed much this year, so I didn’t know what to expect at this competition. I was worried that because the pool of competitors could be larger, I would face more difficult opponents. However, I was very proud of myself for placing and was able to compete with people that were better than me in certain aspects, such as the way they formatted their cases. Overall, I’m glad I can go to the next level. 

Q: What do you think you did well in regionals?

A: I would say that I spoke very well. Debate is about being able to articulate strong points on the spot, so I was very proud that I was able to maintain a confident tone even when I wasn’t sure of how to respond to my opponent.

Q: What do you need to improve on?

A: The way I manage my time is something that I have struggled with for a while in debate. There is a limited amount of time that we can speak for, so ensuring that I cover all the points in the allotted time and attack my opponent well is a skill I lack.

Sophomore Victoria Zhang:  Lincoln Solo

Q: How did regionals go for you? 

A:  I think regionals went pretty well. I was nervous at first, but I realized it wasn’t as stressful as I thought. Even though I had a schedule conflict, I’d say regionals was fun. 

Q: What do you think you did well in regionals?

A: I did better with being more confident during the rounds.

Q: What do you need to improve on?

A: I’m hoping to be more prepared for Super Regionals than I was for regionals and work on my case some more.