Loyola Mock Trial's 11th season has come to end. For the sixth time overall and fourth year in a row, the Ramblers finished at the National Championship. While the season's ultimate success was familiar, the path to this year's postseason was less conventional.
The fall semester presented a busy schedule, with ten tournaments in eight weekends. The early tournaments saw a mix of success, but no overwhelming dominance. The program placed in the top ten at every tournament save ISU, led by the B team's 2nd place finish at Lewis University's Fantastic Flyer Invitational. A rare December swoon by 495, however, left things looking bleak at the winter break. A trip to Durham and the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils ended with the worst A team tournament result since the program's early days.
The spring semester started similar to how the fall left off, with both 495 and 494 having rough weekends at a two-day downtown Chicago tournament organized by Northwestern. Both teams were looking to turn things around at the annual National Invitational hosted by Loras College. Mother Nature, however, had different plans, and the tournament was cancelled due to snow. By the time regionals came around, all Loyola teams had not competed in over one month.
The month off proved to be a blessing in disguise. At the first regional tournament in Topeka, 495 took 1st place with an 8-0 finish. They became the second Loyola team to win a post-season tournament - the first since the 2007 edition of 495 went 8-0 at the Joliet Regional. One week later, 494 and 496 competed at the Notre Dame Regional. With a record of 6-2, 494 finished in 4th place, while 496's five wins earned them an 8th place honorable mention. It was the best ever finish for a Loyola C team at Regionals, and they came within one point in the final round of finishing in the top 7 and earning a trophy.
For the fifth straight season, Loyola Mock Trial earned two bids to the Opening Round Championship Series. On St. Patrick's Day weekend, 494 and 495 headed to St. Louis. 494 frustratingly split its first two rounds, losing a ballot by one point to Kansas and Missouri Southern, respectively. In round three the team dropped both ballots to Truman State, effectively ending their National Championship ambitions. 494 ended the tournament with a 3-5 record after splitting with Lewis in the final round.
495 began the tournament with a split of their own against Northwestern. The result didn't phase them, however, as they went 6-0 in the final three rounds against Iowa, Missouri Southern, and Kansas. 495s 7-1 record earned them third place and a bid to Washington, D.C. for the National Championship tournament.
For the first time in history, the National Championship featured three ballots in each round. 495 faced scrimmage partner Furman in round one and went 1-2. In the second round they took two ballots against Harvard. Unfortunately, 495 wasn't able to sustain the strong start, ending the weekend with three losses each to Berkeley and the University of Washington for a 3-9 finish.
The program wishes farewell to its graduating seniors: