Pioneers Sweep Columbia and NYU in action in Manhattan

Feb. 3, 2010

FAIRFIELD, CT - The Pioneer men's traveled to Manhattan on Wednesday to face perennial powers Columbia and NYU. In what was arguably the best result in the program's history, the Pioneers defeated both schools - Columbia 15-12 and NYU 14-13.

The foil squad dominated on the evening, posting a 14-4 record. They were led by the duo of Jared Rebeor and Ethan Patterson, who were 6-0 and 5-1 respectively. Stuart Holmes also added three victories to the squad's tally. Epee was 8-10 and was led once again by Justin Dion, who went 4-2. Saber had a 7-11 effort and was led by freshman Ryan O'Halloran, who also was 4-2.

In the first match of the evening against Columbia, the Pioneers jumped out to a 5-4 lead after the first round on the back of a 3-0 performance by foil. The lead was stretched to 10-8 as both foil and saber were 2-1 in the stanza.

The momentum continued into the final round, led by 2 wins apiece from foil and epee. Senior epee squad captain Kyle Dee captured the 14th victory for the Pioneers and sealed the win.

Against NYU, the Pioneers started a bit more slowly and were 4-5 after one round. Once again foil led the way with two wins. Strong performances by foil (3-0) and epee (2-1) led to a 10-8 Sacred Heart lead after two rounds.

The Violets came back with three wins in saber and one win each in foil and epee to make the score 13-12 NYU with two bouts remaining. Justin Dion tied the match with a dominating 5-2 win over Justin Powell, leaving the match to be decided by the talented freshmen duo of SHU's Jared Rebeor and NYU's Phil Jamesson.

The fencers traded touches until an excellent attack from Jamesson made the score 4-3. Using his excellent defensive skills, Rebeor made a great parry-riposte to tie the score at 4 all. He sealed the victory with a beautiful immediate remise of a 4 line attack and Sacred Heart had its first ever sweep of Columbia and NYU.

"This was an absolutely fantastic night for us," comments head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "The foil squad was outstanding tonight and put in a performance equal of when they swept Brown, MIT and Brandeis."

"Justin Dion remains very solid in epee and he got some great help from Nick Negron, Kyle Dee and Jeremiah German. Ryan O'Halloran had his best meet of the season and I expect another big day from him at Tufts on Saturday. This was a great way to set the stage for our critical matches this weekend at the conference championships."