(Photo Illustration by Arijit Trivedi)

Mock Trial team contends with Pleasant Grove, Rio Americano in first two matches of county competition

The Mock Trial team faced Pleasant Grove High School and Rio Americano in its first two matches of the county competition, winning the first match but losing the second. 

After a semester of scrimmages, the Mock Trial team had its first match of the season against Pleasant Grove High School on Feb 2. The match was held over Zoom. 

The Cavs were awarded 3 of 3 ballots by the scoring attorneys and won by 33 points.  The score was 431-398. 

Lead attorney junior Sanjana Anand was named MVP of the match by Pleasant Grove’s team. 

Country Day Mock Trial coach Rick Lewkowitz said Anand and the rest of the team were very polished and prepared. 

“They’ve been practicing hard, and I believe they sounded very confident even though the first round of county competition is always a little nerve-racking,” Lewkowitz said.

He also praised the team’s aggressiveness when it came to objections during cross-examinations.

Senior attorney Keshav Anand said he was impressed with the presentation skills of his teammates.

Keshav especially enjoyed the witnesses’ performances. 

“The energy and confidence we all displayed was very strong,” he said. 

Senior co-captain and witness Sarina Rye attributed the Cavs’ victory to their ability to capitalize on Pleasant Grove’s weak points and openings.

“We adapted well by reading the other team and making calls to add or remove things from examinations and statements,” she said.

The Cavs had their second match on Feb. 4, when they fell to Rio Americano in a close match. The final score was 414-459, the Cavs losing by 45 points. 

However, the loss did not discourage the team or overshadow the fact that this match against Rio was their strongest trial the entire season, Lewkowitz said. 

Rye was glad for the opportunity to face such a challenging opponent and expressed her pride for the team’s overall performance. 

“As always, they are a very polished team and put up a strong front,” Rye said.

“Even though we couldn’t do our pre-competition tradition of leaving school early to have a nice team dinner together, everyone did well despite the usual first trial jitters and added unusualness of this year.”

One skill the team hopes to improve and strengthen is being selective with objections. 

Throughout both matches, there were many chances to object during the opposing team’s examinations.

However, objecting to certain statements does not necessarily benefit their argument, Lewkowitz explained. 

“We need to be more discretionary when we make objections,” Lewkowitz said. 

“It’s tough to do because many times it’s instinctive, but I think we made some objections without thinking it through.”

Attorney sophomore Rod Azghadi was named MVP in the second round. 

The third round of the county competition is scheduled for Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m against Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep.

— By Lauren Lu

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