POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The 11th-ranked Sacred Heart men's fencing team traveled to Vassar College on Saturday to face Drew, Yale, and Hunter College. SHU had a perfect day, defeating Yale 14-13, Drew 23-4 and Hunter 24-3.
The highlight of the day was the second win over Yale in the past two weeks. The Pioneers and Bulldogs were back at full strength with the return from injury for SHU's Andrew Holmes and Yale's freshman foilist Jim Ishizuka. For the second time Yale took the first round 5-4, with Andrew Holmes and Jonathan Jacovino posting wins in foil. Sacred Heart took charge of the match with six wins in the second round, led by a 3-0 sweep in foil and two big saber wins by Tom Gerrity and Ryan O'Halloran. The Pioneers' momentum continued into the third round as SHU took two of the C strip bouts (Jeremiah German in epee and Chris DiPietro in saber). In the B strip bouts Andrew Holmes completed his sweep for the match and Khristopher White entered the epee lineup and came back from a 4-3 deficit to defeat Cornelius Saunders and close out the match at 14-10. In addition to Holmes' perfect performance, Jacovino, Kevin Almerini and Chris DiPietro all had two wins each.
"This was another great win for us and had to be the best overall team effort of the year", commented head coach Dr. Tom Vrabel. "At Yale, we had to win the final 3 A strip bouts to get the victory. This time it was over before those bouts even started. It was nice not to have it fall again on Stuart Holmes' shoulders to win the last bout for a victory. I know that he loves the challenge but I am happy that his teammates gave him a well-deserved break. This is the first time in one of these tough matches that we got wins from all nine of our positions. I can't say enough about how much Chris DiPietro's performance has meant to us lately. His confidence grows with every meet. I like our performance level as we go in to the last week of the dual meet season."
The 16-8 Pioneers are back in action on Thursday, Feb. 7 at NYU to face NYU and Columbia and are at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, Feb. 9 for the final Northeast Fencing Conference matches of the year. Actions starts at 5 p.m. Thursday at NYU at the Jerome Coles Athletic Complex, 181 Mercer Street in Manhattan and 9 a.m. Saturday at UNH at the Hamill Recreation Center which is part of the Whittemore Athletic Complex, 128 Main Street on the UNH Campus.