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Speech team prepares for tournament with Night Before Nationals

The Bradley Speech Team is hoping for a repeat win at this weekend’s American Forensics Association competition in Lincoln, Neb., a competition they won last year for the first time in 10 years.

The team hosted their annual “Night Before Nationals” showcase last weekend at the Hartmann Center.

Senior Speech Team President Becky Suhr said “Night Before Nationals” is unique in that participants can watch their teammates perform.

“There are so many events we don’t get to see each other,” Suhr said. “It’s a reward to not only see what our teammates have been doing, but to show the community everything we do, too.”

Sophomore public relations major Kirsten Leeds said it was nice to perform in a larger room because at nationals they will compete in front of a larger audience than they are used to.

The “Night Before Nationals” performance was $5 a person, and the money helped pay the team’s competition expenses, including transportation and food.

The team expects an even stronger team next year, especially with the incoming freshman class and new transfer students.

“The team’s only getting better next year,” said Leeds. “We have so many people transferring here next year from all over the country. Things are looking great for us in terms of coming years.”

Suhr agrees and sees the team as a force to reckon with next year.

“I’m so excited for the team next year,” Suhr said. “We have a very strong team with very strong incoming freshmen. The team will be unstoppable.”

The speech team has about two showcases every year: one in the fall to show the community, especially Bradley students, what they are, and the “Night Before Nationals” in the spring to show everyone what they have worked on throughout the year.

In addition to AFA, he Speech Team will be competing at the National Forensics Association competition at Illinois State University April 15-18, as well.

For more information on the Bradley Speech Team, visit their website at

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