Pioneers Win Four Medals, Patterson Wins Foil Championship at Big One Tournament

Pioneers Win Four Medals, Patterson Wins Foil Championship at Big One Tournament

(Northhampton, MA) - Ethan Patterson won the foil championship and the Sacred Heart men's fencing team won four medals Saturday at the Big One Individual College Fencing Tournament at Smith College.  The event had over 430 fencers from 25 schools competing.

The day began with men's epee.  In the preliminary pool competition, Pioneers  Justin Dion and Travis Pereira went undefeated and Jeremiah German finished 5-1.  Justin Dion made a strong effort in defense of his 2009 Championship but he lost a very exciting bout to MIT's Jackson Crane 15-14 in the semi finals.  In three years of competing in this tournament , Dion has one championship and two bronze medal finishes to his credit.  The results for the other Pioneer epeeists in the 69-man field were 17th for Travis Pereira, 19th for Jeremiah German, 25th for Nate Quigley,51st for Marlon Bridgman and 52nd for Charles Schneider.

While the epee tournament was underway, Sacred Heart's foil squad got into action.  The Pioneers were dominant  again in the preliminary round and Ethan Patterson, team captain Jim Roberts, Will Puglisi, Victor Nieto, and Stuart Holmes all went undefeated and Holmes seeded first going into the direct elimination round.  Holmes' excellent result pitted him against Brown starter Michael Yu in the round of 32.  He lost a very tough bout to Yu 15-12.   The other four Pioneers advanced to the round of 16 where Nieto and Patterson were able to advance into the top eight medal round.  In the medal round, Patterson was solid in his defeat of Brandeis' Sean Norton while Nieto lost to Brandeis freshman star Julian Cardillo.  In one of the most exciting bouts of the tournament, Patterson and Cardillo went at it in the semi finals.  Patterson got out to an early lead but Cardillo stormed back to take the lead again at 13-12.  The match came down to a 14 all tie.  Cardillo then aggressivley pushed Patterson down to the end of the strip.  Patterson responded with a strong attack during Cardillo's preparation to secure the win.  Ethan then went on to pull away from Boston College's Patrick Riley to win the foil championship.  Victor Nieto placed seventh for the Pioneers, while Jim Roberts was ninth, Will Puglisi 10th, Stuart Holmes 17th, and Brendan Stokes 57th in the 71-man field.

The Pioneer saber squad started off well in the preliminary round with Peter Freiss and Ryan O'Halloran going undefeated and CJ Fleck going 4-1.  In the direct elimination, Freiss advanced to the round of 16 where he was defeated by Brown's Teddy Weller.  Freiss finished 10th on the day while O'Halloran was 18th, Fleck 22nd, Sean Vilar 30th, and David Choy 40th in the 71-competitor field.

 "This was a great day for the foil squad," said Pioneer head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "Ethan Patterson has worked very hard this preseason to adapt his game to better take advantage of his strength and length.  Ethan has incredible quickness for a 6'2" 215 pound athlete.  He is now using his physical attributes to their best advantage.  His mental toughness today was awesome.  I look for Ethan to build off of this win and have a great season". 

Vrabel was also pleased with his entire squad's effort.  "All of the foilists fenced well," said Vrabel.  "Stuart Holmes definitely did not deserve the DE draw he got but those are the breaks in this type of a competition.  I am very pleased with how Nieto and Roberts fenced.  I am very comfortable with where the foil squad is as we get in to the dual meet season."

"Justin Dion continues to be a dominant epee fencer" continued Vrabel.  "I had hoped for a better result for German and Pereira in epee. We have identified the things to work on this week to get ready for our matches at Vassar next Sunday.  Our two freshmen saber fencers (Freiss and Vilar) did well but they did not have their best days on Saturday.  With this match under their belts, I look for them to bounce back next weekend."

The Pioneer's are back in action at Vassar College on Sunday, Nov 14, where they will fence Hunter College, Drew University, Yeshiva University, Steven's Tech and Haverford College.