Fifth in California, MMT Asserts Program's Depth
This past weekend, MMT's top two teams, the A Team and the B Team, competed at UC-Irvine's Beach Party Invitational. The program went 13-8-3 to place fifth at what was this season's most competitive tournament yet.
Unlike most invitationals, the Beach Party utilizes a bracket based system whereby each of the 12 programs in attendance are sorted into one of four divisions. A program's two teams must have the best record in their division to advance through the bracket. Miami was joined in their division with UC-San Diego and Rhodes College, who finished second at last year's national championship and ultimately finished second at this year's Beach Party.
After a disappointing first round in which Miami's two teams combined for just a single win, the program would roar back to take 13 out of the last 17 ballots in rounds two through four. Of the eight ballots MMT dropped this weekend, three were by a single point.
In round two, the A Team took two of three ballots from Rhodes A and in round three the program took all six ballots versus Northwestern. But ultimately, the hole MMT dug for themselves in the first round would be too deep a deficit to overcome. By Saturday evening, at the end of the tournament's first day, Miami had fallen to the loser's bracket and was gunning for, at best, third place. After a round four in which MMT spilt three-three with the hosts UC-Irvine, Miami finished a respectable fifth.
"Fifth place is a disappointment when you have expectations as high as we do," said co-captain Matt Meeks, who plays an attorney on both sides of the case for the B Team. "But I'm proud of this program and fifth is pretty amazing when you realize all of the teams at Irvine were ranked in the top 15 in AMTA."
Elias Demeropolis, of the B Team, won an outstanding witness award. Alex Block, one of MMT's two currently competing All-Americans, won two outstanding attorney awards. Out of a field of more than 100, Mr. Block was the second highest ranked competitor at the tournament. Last year, no competitor was ranked higher.
The A Team’s 6-5-1 record was underwhelming for the all-senior squad but a careful ballot analysis illuminated the team’s weaknesses. Coaches Dan Haughey and Neal Schuett will address those concerns and when the team competes next those issues should be resolved. The A Team’s next performance will be in January at New York University’s Downtown Invitational - the season’s single most competitive tournament.
For Lawrence Hilton and Melissa Schuett's B Team, their 7-3-2 performance was another indication of the team’s prowess as they move to 14-4-3 on the season. They will compete next in mid-January when they travel to Atlanta, GA.
The A Team:
Record: 6-5-1 | CS: Unavailable | OCS: Unavailable | PD: Unavailable | Team #: 993
Coaches: Dan Haughey, Neal Schuett
Competitors: Alex Block, Allie Pickerill, Brad Ouambo, Brandon Patterson, Claire Meikle, David Payne, Deb O'Neal, Dylan Grafe, Lauren Yates, Zowoi Malakpa
The B Team:
Record: 7-3-2 | CS: Unavailable | OCS: Unavailable | PD: Unavailable | Team #: 992
Coaches: Lawrence Hilton, Melissa Schuett
Competitors: Ben Sandlin, Christina Romine, Elias Demeropolis, Jazime Kee, John Spear, Matt Meeks, Monika Mudd, Najeeb Ahmed, Reeti Pal, Samantha Hobbs, Taylor Seay (did not compete)
Alex Block (awarded twice)
Tab summary unavailable.