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Women's Fencing Defeats Air Force, Puts Up Good Fight Against UNC

By Jennifer Mosier
Team Member

The women's varsity fencing team had an impressive showing against very difficult competition last Saturday at Duke University. In the last series of dual meets of the season, they faced the powerhouses of Duke, Notre Dame, U.S. Air Force Academy, and UNC-Chapel Hill.

The first meet of the day was against the host team, Duke. Although losing to this experienced team 725 (313 foil, 412 epee), strong individual performances were posted by Amy Hwang '97 in foil and Jennifer Mosier '96 in epee, who both had two victories.

The next meet was against Notre Dame, home to several nationally ranked fencers. The team fought hard in every bout, with epeeist Nicky Leifer '98 going 22, but were simply outclassed by the Irish 626 (214, 412).

The last two meets were very exciting ones for the Engineers. The first of these was against Air Force. This meet saw many outstanding individual performances, with captain Wanda Chin '97 going 31 in foil; Hwang, Leejee Suh '97 (foil), Mosier, and Kari Backes '96 (epee) all at 22; and Sara Perry '99 going 20 in epee.

Epeeist Nora Szasz '99 was called upon to fence the last bout of the competition with MIT down 1516. Under a tremendous amount of pressure and with all of the fencers from both teams watching and cheering loudly, Szasz overcame her nerves and defeated her opponent to win the meet 1616 on indicators (88 win, 88 win).

The last meet of the day was against another very difficult team, UNC. The team stayed fired up from their win over Air Force, and surprised UNC by giving them a very tough battle. Although UNC prevailed in the end 1319 (610, 79), the meet was not decided until the last round.

This great fight was led by Chin who went an impressive 40. Backes was not far behind at 31, and Hwang and Mosier were each 22. At the end of the meet one of the UNC assistant coaches told the MIT team that he "was very impressed by the fencing and team spirit of the MIT team. I expect we'll be seeing this team competitive among the top NCAA teams in the near future."

For the day, Chin had an outstanding 97 record, Mosier was 79, Hwang and Backes were both 610 and Perry was 35.

One of the most impressive features of the weekend was the intensity of support and team spirit. MIT was always cheering loudly and supporting each other after both wins and losses. This energy was a large part of the successful fencing of the day.

This team is looking forward to using the Division I experiences of the last two weekends when they return to compete in the New England Championships on Feb. 24 and 25.