(New Haven, CT) - The ninth-ranked Pioneers travelled to Yale Saturday to take on the tenth-ranked Yale Bulldogs, beating the hosts en route to raising the season record to 17-3.
The Pioneers got off to a fast start in the first round to take a 5-4 lead thanks to two wins each from epee and saber and a foil win from team captain Stuart Holmes. The Pioneers widened their lead with six wins in the second round to stretch their advantage to 11-7. Two wins in the third saber round from freshman Tom Gerrity and sophomore Sean Vilar set up the need for the Pioneers to take one of the final six foil and epee bouts to secure the win. This was taken care of in the first foil bout of the round as freshman sensation Andrew Holmes defeated Yale's Taylor Gregiore-Wright for the 14th and clinching victory.
Sacred Heart was led on the day by perfect 3-0 performances from junior Mike Fenech and senior Justin Dion in epee and Stuart Holmes in foil. "This was a very satisfying win for us today but it was not unexpected", said head Coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "Our team worked extremely hard this week and we were very focused on getting this win. We warmed up well and were confident from the start. Despite a determined effort from Yale, we would not be denied and we just continued to increase the pressure. Mike Fenech and Justin Dion had great days in epee. Yale's epee squad is led by a first team All American and they are the class of the Yale team this year. Mike and Justin just would not be denied and they both came back from significant deficits to win bouts. They are one of the best one-two punches in collegiate epee this season. Stuart Holmes worked hard this week at addressing a few technique issues that came up last week in Philly. His game was great today and he had strong bouts against Kachru and Broughton. Three of our new additions this season had major impacts today. In addition to Fenech's performance, freshmen Tommy Gerrity and Andrew Holmes each had two big wins. We still keep improving with every match. I am very happy that the guys are getting these rewards for their dedication and effort this season."
The Pioneers are back in action on Wednesday, February 8th at Columbia where they will take on the Lions and the NYU Violets. Action begins at 4 PM.