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Women's Fencing Wins New England Championships

By Jennifer Mosier
Associate Sports Editor

The women's varsity fencing team won the New England Championships Saturday at the University of New Hampshire, decisively defeating the eight other teams competing, including rivals Brown University and Wellesley College.

Going into the championships with a 101 conference record, the Lady Blades were expecting to put on a great performance. "It was very satisfying to finally take home the sword, the championship trophy," said head coach Jarek Koniusz.

"After having lost by just two touches to Brown at last year's championships, it was exciting to beat them by three," Koniusz said.

The format of the competition was different from that used during the regular season. Each team ranked their four starters A through D, with the best fencer in the A pool. The team competition consisted of four intra-pool face-offs.

Fencers qualified to the individual competition based on their record in the team competition. The top four A fencers, three B fencers, two C fencers, and one D fencer advanced in each weapon. There was then a round-robin tournament to decide the individual winners.

Epe team alternate Nora Szasz '99 had a good performance, winning 2 bouts in the B pool after replacing team member Jennifer Mosier '96, who withdrew due to injury.

Captain, Wanda Chin 97 fenced well in the foil A pool, but just missed qualifying for the final rounds. Aimee Wiltz 99 and Sara Perry 99 also contributed to the team victory.

There were several outstanding individual performances. Foilists Leejee Suh '97 and Amy Hwang '97 both advanced to the individual competition with 7-2 and 8-1 records, respectively. Hwang finished in 7th place, and Suh ended up in 9th place.

In epe, Kari Backes '96 went undefeated in the D pool (9-0) to qualify and finished in eighth place. Also in epe Nicky Leifer '98 qualified from the C pool and finished seventh.

The team was led by epe Captain Merideth Rising '98, who not only qualified for the individual competition in the A pool, but also went on to go undefeated in the final round and win the individual Epe Championship.

The team's next competition will be this weekend, when MIT hosts the Intercollegiate Fencing Association championships.