January 13, 2010

Pioneers go 1-5 at Philadelphia Invitational

Jan. 9, 2010

PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Pioneers kicked off 2010 with six matches at the Philadelphia Invitational at UPenn's Hutchinson Gym last Saturday. Sacred heart defeated NJIT 22-5 but lost to Northwestern 18-9, Duke 22-5, UNC 17-10, UPenn 23-4 and Temple 21-6.

"This is by far the toughest competition we face in one day all season," commented head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "Penn, Temple and Northwestern were all in the women's top 10 last season with multiple All-Americans, and Duke has last year's NCAA saber champion Becca Ward. Unfortunately, we started slowly but came on strong by the end of the day."

"I was pleased about how our top freshmen and captain, Krista Bacci, finished the day. This ending will put us in a good frame of mind for the completion of our league matches in February."

The Pioneers were led by the saber tandem of Bacci (8-7) and freshman Elena Tringa (7-8). Bacci started slowly with 1-2 records against Penn, Duke and UNC but finished strong by going 2-1 against Temple and 3-0 against Northwestern. Tringa had an impressive win over Penn's Dannielle Kamis and finished with a sweep of Northwestern. In epee, both senior squad captain Ali Roach and freshman Colleen Mason were 6-10 on the day. Mason was impressive against Northwestern where she defeated All Americans Christa French and Joanna Niklinska. Roach had a 2-1 performance against Temple. Freshman foil star Jayme Smith had a 6-11 record on the day.

"These very tough matches are critical for the development of our top freshmen," said Dr. Vrabel. "Colleen Mason's game and performance visibly improved as the day went on. She was a totally different fencer by the time we got to Northwestern and it showed in her performance. Being one touch away from going 3-0 against the Wildcats was a great accomplishment. Elena Tringa also got her legs under her by the Northwestern meet and she also was a totally different fencer later in the day. I look forward to both fencers building from their finishes and having strong closes to the season."

The Pioneers are back in action on Saturday, January 30 at 1 PM when they travel to Yale's Paine-Whitney Gym to face the Bulldogs.