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Women’s Fencing Ends Season With 18-3 Record, Men 11-8

By Lynn Wang and Shauna Jin


At the culmination of the NCAA Fencing season, the MIT Women crushed four Division I schools on home ground, bringing their record to 18-3.

On Sunday, Feb. 2, 2003, MIT hosted over 300 fencers at the Johnson Athletic Center for the MIT Invitational Meet. Thirteen schools from all over the Eastern United States arrived at MIT for the final meet of the NCAA season. Each school’s fencing team competes in three different weapons, foil, epÉe, and sabre, and a total of 27 bouts are fenced to complete a match. Competition lasted all day. MIT faced five of the toughest schools of the season with intense competition.

Women’s team reigns

At the MIT Invitational, the women’s foil squad led the team, contributing 28 wins to the overall score. In an especially noteworthy bout, Gemma L. Mendel ’06 closed an uncertain victory in MIT’s favor against Duke University. With the score tied 4-4 and the entire team watching in anticipation, Mendel scored an attack in preparation against her opponent, sealing the victory for the women’s team. MIT emerged triumphant with a 14-13 score against Duke, the closest win of the day for the women.

Women’s epÉe dominated their competition yet again with a remarkable performance by freshman Lucy Mendel. Her 10 wins put her in a promising ranking for NCAA Regionals.

Sabre squad leader and team captain Priscilla del Castillo ’04 led the entire women’s team, finishing the day with an record of 13 wins and only 2 losses.

“I’m very proud of the confidence we’ve shown today against these tough opponents,” del Castillo said. “MIT Fencing is definitely leaving [its] mark.”

Having defeated Duke University, Cornell University, New York University, and the University of North Carolina, the MIT women faced their final opponent, the University of Pennsylvania, finishing the day with a close loss of 10-17, and concluding the NCAA competition season with a record of 18-3.

Men succeed as well

Men’s fencing also concluded their NCAA season at the MIT Invitational with a record of 11-8. Men’s sabre ended the season with a strong finish, defeating four out of their five opponents and leading the men’s team in total victories. Michael P. Pihulic ’04 gave an outstanding performance, leading the sabre squad with 10 wins. Despite this being his first year as starter, Pihulic’s exceptional fencing has earned him one of the best records in our region.

The men’s epÉe squad captured an incredible 18 bouts for MIT, led by nine wins by Samuel N. Korb ’05. In men’s foil, squad leader Vincent Chen ’05 helped to rally the Men’s Team by winning six bouts and leading the squad to victory against Yeshiva University.

After a season highlighted by victories over Brown University, Boston College, and an unprecedented win over St. John’s University, the MIT men are poised to dominate at New England Championships.

Coach Koniusz pleased

“Both teams have done a wonderful job so far in practice and competition,” said Coach Jarek Koniusz. “My coaching staff and I are very pleased and are looking forward to witnessing great results at this year’s New England Championships, in two weeks.”

For more information on fencing, check out the team’s Web site, .