(Northhampton, MA) - Senior Team Captain Stuart Holmes continued the tradition of the Pioneers winning at least one championship at the Big One with his dominating championship win in foil at Smith College in the traditional kick-off of the collegiate fencing season in the Northeast. The Pioneers garnered seven medals in total in the competition.
The SHU foil squad dominated the event by having four medalists - Stuart Holmes first, Jon Jacovino second, Andrew Holmes third, and Alex Harwood eighth - and placing eight fencers - Stuart Holmes, Jacovino, Andrew Holmes, Harwood, Vic Nieto, Cooper Johnson, Brendan Stokes, and Joe Faicco - in the top sixteen. Epee was led on the day by squad captain Jeremiah German's bronze medal performance and by Khris White placing sixth. Mike Fenech and Kevin Almerini also made it to the round of sixteen. Medal performances were capped off by saber squad captain Tom Gerrity's sixth place result. Ryan O'Halloran also made the top 16 in saber.
"I was very pleased with our performance in foil today," comments head Coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "Other teams had some very strong additions to their foil squads this year, so we knew that the level of competition would be stronger. Despite this, we had a very good preseason and I liked our chances. Our hard work and intrasquad competition paid off with our incredible result yesterday. I had never seen a squad at the Big One send eight fencers to the round of 16 before. Stuart Holmes was in pain all day (lower back injury) and was not at his physical best but he flat refused to lose. This was the gutsiest performance I have ever seen from one of our fencers. It was an amazing effort. It was nice to see that all three of our squad captains led their teams in results today. Jeremiah German has stepped up his game significantly this season and it shows in his results. Khris White was dominant until he lost a 15 -14 heart breaker in the round of eight. The MIT epee squad has had several strong freshmen enter an already formidable stable and they will be the epee squad to beat this season. We still have some work to do but I am confident that we will be very competitive with MIT when we fence them in two weeks. Tom Gerrity did very well in making the top eight in saber and he has become a great leader of our saber squad. Despite our success yesterday, several items that need improvement showed up and we will be working hard this week to address them in preparation for the SHU Invitational this Sunday".
Sacred Heart will host seven teams including Haverford and Vassar at the SHU Invitational on Sunday, November 11th. Action will kick off at the Pitt Center at 10 AM.