The Sacred Heart University Womens' Fencing Team got off to their best Northeast Fencing Conference Start in history with a 5-1 record on Saturday. They defeated Wellesly College 23-4, Boston University 24-3, Brandeis University 18-9, University of New Hampshire 19-8 and MIT 19-8 and lost to a powerful Brown University Squad 16-11.
The epee squad of junior squad captain Colleen Mason, sophomore Natalie Rossetti and freshman Megan Floyd all had identical 13-4 marks on the day. They have now ran their squad winning streak to 12. Their wins over the strong MIT and Brown squad were especially impressive. "Our epee squad has gotten off to a fantastic start this season," comments head coach Dr. Tom Vrabel. "Mason was an all league selection last season. With the addition of Floyd and the shifting of the multi talented Rossetti to epee I believe that we have the best epee squad in the league. They improve with every match. We really have three A strip fencers on the squad, which is a luxury that we are experiencing for the first time. It is such a pleasure to watch this trio in action."
The epee squad's 41-13 day was followed closely by the foil squad's 40-14 performance. Foil was led again by the trio of junior team captain Jayme Smith (13-3) and freshmen Aileen Trella (14-3) and Tess Kallmeyer (10-7). "This is the first season that we have depth across the board in foil", said Dr. Vrabel. "Last season we had the 1-2 punch of Smith and Rossetti, but with the addition of four strong freshmen this year (Trella, Kallmeyer, Melissa Tsiames and Kristin Fischbach), we have been able to move Rossetti to epee and now have formidable teams in both foil and epee. We knew from the past two seasons what Jayme Smith can do, but the performances of Trella and Kallmeyer have been very nice to see. This squad is gelling nicely and will only get better as the season progresses."
Despite battling a stomach infection, junior Elena Tringa posted a 14-4 mark on the day in leading the saber squad to a 30-24 mark. Junior squad captain Lauren Cebello also had a nice day, going 11-6.
"Two seasons ago we went 9-3 in the NFC and tied for third", said Dr. Vrabel. "Last year we lost six starters and were rebuilding. This year's freshmen have been super and we now have a great shot at getting second this year. Results from the BIG ONE and Saturday's matches show that Brown is clearly the class of the NFC this season. We have a good chance at going 11-1 this and if Brown happens to drop one of their last six matches, we might be able to tie for the Championship. You never know what might happen. I am very pleased that the hard work and dedication of our team has moved us up in to the League's upper echelon.
The Pioneers will take a major step up in class when they travel to Penn State on December 3rd to take on perennial national powers Penn State, Harvard, Princeton, Temple, UNC Chapel Hill and NYU.