Published on March 10, 2016 by Sean Flynt  

The Samford University junior varsity debate team of Carly Davis of Windermere, Florida, and Wesley Staples of Killen, Alabama, finished fifth at the National Speech and Debate Association’s JV/Novice Nationals held at West Virginia University March 5–7.

The team had a winning preliminary record, defeating teams from Rutgers University, West Virginia University, Liberty University and the University of Central Florida before defeating Liberty in the round of sixteen. They were finally defeated in the quarterfinals on a close decision against the University of Michigan. 

Davis was named eleventh speaker in the nation at the tournament, adding to her recent recognition as the regional Novice Debater of the Year.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 2nd nationally for student engagement and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance names Samford 34th among private universities for value and affordability. Samford enrolls 5,729 students from 47 states and 30 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.