Pioneer Foil Squad Takes Third Place at New England Championship Tournament, Colleen Mason Places Fourth in Epee.

(South Hadley, MA) - The Sacred Heart women's fencing team traveled to Mt. Holyoke College on Sunday to compete in the 2011 New England Intercollegiate Championship tournament.  The foil squad had its best finish ever, placing third overall. 

Both team captain Jayme Smith and Natalie Rossetti qualified from the A and B strip to the individual competition, where Smith advanced to the medal round and placed sixth and Rossetti eighth.  The qualifiers for the individual event are the six top competitors from the A strip, top four from the B and top two from the C.  Sixteen competitors were in each group, so making it to the individual competition is a great accomplishment.

 "This was a great performance for our foil squad today," said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "Smith, Rossetti, and Casey Zimmermann probably had their best overall results of the season.  I am especially happy for Casey.  This was her final competition as a Pioneer after a fine career and it is really nice that she was able to be a big part of this success."

Sophomore epee squad captain Colleen Mason also continued her strong season, going 12-3 in the A strip and qualifying for the individual event.  She advanced to the medal round and finished fourth.  A converted high school foilist, Mason switched to epee when she came to SHU.

"I am very happy to see how Colleen continues to improve," said Dr. Vrabel. "Considering that Colleen has been fencing epee for less than two years, her development has been quite remarkable.  When I saw her fence in high school, I knew that her future was in epee.  She has a wonderful combination of height, strength, and quickness that makes her a natural for the weapon.  There is still a lot of up side left in her game and I can't wait to see how much more she will improve next season."

Four Pioneers (Jayme Smith and Natalie Rossetti in foil, Colleen Mason in epee, and Lauren Cebello in saber) have qualified this season for the NCAA Fencing Championships and will be competing in the regional round at Vassar College on Sunday, March 13.