Pioneers Host Elite of College Fencing

(Fairfield, CT) - The elite of collegiate fencing came to the Pitt Center on Sunday to compete at the SHU Invitational.  The field included last year's NCAA Champions Penn State and former NCAA Champions Princeton, Harvard, and NYU, in addition to strong Vassar and UNC Chapel Hill teams.   A young  but gritty Sacred Heart squad lost to UNC Chapel Hill 16-11, Princeton 24-3, Harvard 25-2, NYU 22-5, Penn State 26-1 and Vassar 21-6. 

Leading the Pioneers on the day was freshman foil star Natalie Rossetti, who finished the day 8-10.  Team captain Jayme Smith posted six wins in foil, as did sophomore saber Lauren Cebello.  "The box score doesn't really  tell the day's story," comments head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "The women fought hard all day and gave a great effort.  I believe that they learned much from competing against this kind of competition and it will put them in a stronger position to finish the league season in February.  Just as our Women's basketball team benefits from playing UCONN, we will benefit from the lessons learned on Sunday."

"I am very pleased with the way that Natalie Rossetti has started the season," said Dr. Vrabel.  "Her eight wins today was a great result for Natalie.  She always fights hard and she is never in awe of her opposition.  To have her finish the fall with a 30-18 record (63 % wins) is a great accomplishment for Natalie.  I was also pleased with the performances of Jayme Smith and Lauren Cebello today.  Both were very successful this fall (Smith went 31-17 and Cebello 24-24) and both should be strong as we go in to the second half of NFC league play in February."

The Pioneers will be back in action on January 22nd and 23rd at the Philadelphia Invitational where UPenn, Duke, Temple, Northwestern and NJIT will be among their opponents.