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Fencing Defeats St. John’s

By Suki Dorfman


In their final meet of the fall season, both the men’s and women’s fencing teams came up 3-1, with the men upsetting St. John’s University, ranked second in the nation in the NCAA.

At the Nov. 24 meet, held at Brandeis, MIT faced St. John’s, Boston College, Brandeis University, and Vassar College. MIT continues to dominate the Northeast Fencing Conference.

The MIT men approached St. John’s, their first opponents, and discovered the other teams sabre squad had brought only one of the three fencers that comprise a starting squad. This resulted in six forfeited bouts, victories for MIT. The MIT sabrists, captain Anthony P. Reinen ’03, Jason M. Levine ’03, and Michael P. Pihulic ’04 won their bouts to complete a 9-0 sabre sweep.

Men’s foil and epee, led by the 2-1 performance of foil squad leader Vincent Chen ’05, took just enough wins from St. John’s to give MIT a remarkable 14-13 victory.

Men’s team fights on

After the meet with St. John’s, the MIT men kept their enthusiasm and effort against the last three schools to finish the day 3-1. The MIT men moved on to Boston College for an 18-9 victory. This was followed by a close loss to Brandeis, always a strong team in New England. They finished the day by decisively defeating Vassar, 20-7.

Men’s foil went into the competition with starter Sam H. Kendig ’05 fencing through illness. Nevertheless, the foilists, Kendig, Douglas J. Quattrochi ’04, and leader Chen gave their opponents trouble.

The men’s epee squads best record was held by men’s epeeist Samuel N. Korb ’05. Still charged from his undefeated streak at MIT last meet, Korb finished the day 10-2 on Sunday.

MIT men’s sabrists Reinen, Levine, and Pihulic finished this part of the season having proven themselves one of the most determined and skilled men’s sabre squads in New England.

Women’s foil stays on top

The women’s team continues to shine, with a current overall record of 9-1. So far, the only loss has been against St. John’s. The St. John’s women, some of the best fencers in the nation, were in top form at Brandeis, and MIT gave a good effort.

MIT had better luck against Boston College, Brandeis, and Vassar. Boston College and Brandeis are two of the stronger fencing schools in the Boston area. Both fell to the skill of the MIT women 18-9. The MIT victory over Vassar at the end of the day was even more crushing, at 22-5.

Throughout this successful streak, the women’s foil squad continued to lead the team in total victories. Squad leader Suki Dorfman, ’05, Christine A. Yee ’03, and Gemma L. Mendel ’06 are three of the best women’s foilists in New England.

Women’s foil made the largest dent in St. John’s team of any squad. They demolished the foil squads from Boston College, Brandeis, and Vassar, losing only three bouts total to the three schools. Against Vassar, alternate Diane Christoforo ’05 showed her growth as a fencer in her first varsity meet this season.

Women’s epee faced formidable opponents this weekend. Epee still fenced impressively to assist the team in accumulating victories against these Northeast Fencing Conference schools. Freshmen Lucy R. Mendel and Mika A. Tomczak have been brilliant fencers and additions to the team so far, led by squad leader Rim Lue ’03.

The women’s sabrists, captain Priscilla del Castillo ’04, Sasha R. Manoosingh ’03, Naimata C. Saucer ’05, assisted by Marissa A. Cheng ’05, took on challenging opponents at Brandeis. The most noteworthy performance was by first year fencer Saucer. Saucer fenced aggressively to win a majority of her bouts starting on the varsity squad, an impressive accomplishment, especially for one with so little competition experience.

In January, the fencers will resume practice and prepare for their winter and spring term meets.