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Women's Fencing Continues Winning Season in 9 Meets

By Jennifer Mosier
Team Member

The women's varsity fencing team continued its winning season this weekend, competing in nine dual meets in two days, and has an excellent chance of winning the New England Fencing Conference championship for the season.

On Saturday, they competed in the Wellesley College Invitational. The double practices and hard work over IAPresulted in an undefeated day for the team.

The first meet was against Vassar College, which MIT won 20-12 (10-6 foil, 10-6 epe). The women's team then rolled over Steven's Tech 24-8 (14-2, 10-6).

The third meet was against a tough opponent and rival, Brandeis University. The team avenged its close loss in December with a win of 20-12 (6-10, 14-2). In reference to this victory, head coach Jarek Koniusz said "after several years of domination by Brandeis, it was really satisfying to beat them decisively."

The team finished the day with a 22-10 (8-8 loss, 14-2) win over Baruch College and defeated a strong Wellesley team in the final meet 21-11 (11-5, 10-6).

The team also competed at Wellesley on Sunday. They began the day by crushing Bates College 25-7 (12-4, 13-3). They then fought a tough meet against Boston College, winning 17-15 (7-9, 10-6).

Boston University was no match for MIT and was defeated 24-8 (9-7, 15-1).

Toughest meet against Brown

The toughest meet of the weekend was the last meet against Brown University. MIT fought a very hard battle against this strong team, but lost a very close match 15-17 (6-10, 9-7). Brown foilist Kate McKay said that "the MIT fencers were extremely difficult to fence when their teammates were around."

There were also many outstanding individual performances. On Saturday. Merideth Rising '98 led the epe squad by winning all of her bouts, ending the day with a 16-0 record. Her squadmates, Kari Backes '96 and Nicky Leifer '98 were not far behind, with very impressive records of 27-9 and 28-8 in epe for the weekend. Jennifer Mosier '96 also fenced well, finishing with a 9-2 record. Both Rising and Leifer defeated 1995 NCAA Division I silver medalist Heidi Chang from Wellesley, which were her only losses of the weekend.

Captain Wanda Chin '97 also had a very impressive weekend and finished 28-8 in foil, with Amy Hwang '97 and Leejee Suh '97, ending 24-12 and 21-14 respectively. Aimee Wiltz '99 and Oriana Hunter '99 also contributed to the foil squad's success. Taro Yamashita, the assistant coach, said that"the consistent intensity, determination, and collective enthusiasm showed by all of the members of the MIT team is the mark of a championship team."

Due to injuries to the starters, the team had to call on its alternates to fence. In their first meet ever, Nora Szasz '99 and Sara Perry '99 contributed to the team victories by fencing very well against much more experienced fencers and finishing 11-12 and 14-8 respectively in epe.

This has been a great season for the young team. They have an overall record of14-4, with a conference record of 11-1. Although the final results for the conference will not be available in until the second week of February, Koniusz is "very optimistic about winning the conference title this year."

The next NCAA meet will be on Saturday, February 3rd at Brandeis.