February 9, 2011

Pioneers Fall to NYU and Columbia

(New York, NY) - The Pioneers traveled to NYU's Cole Athletic Complex yesterday to face two of the most storied programs in Collegiate Fencing.  With a combined 25 NCAA Championship titles between them (Columbia 13, NYU 12), the Lions and Violets are truly among the elite in the sport.  Sacred Heart fell to both Columbia 22-5 and NYU 17-10 yesterday.  Sacred Heart finished the year with a 5-22 mark. 

The Pioneers were led on the day by the strong finishing epeeist Colleen Mason, who was a perfect 3-0 against the Lions and posted another two wins against the Violets.  Since winter break, Mason has gone 23-12 against teams the likes of UPenn, Northwestern, Temple, Duke, UNC, Vassar, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and NYU.  Colleen's strong finish gave her  44-39 record this season.

"Colleen has really come on in the past month," said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "She has great physical talent but only started fencing epee the summer before she came to SHU, so she is still very new to the weapon.  I knew that this type of performance would be happening, I just did not know how soon.  In addition to Mason, the foil duo of sophomore team captain Jayme Smith (46-38) and freshman Natalie Rossetti (46-35) also reached the 40-win plateau this season.

The Pioneers are back in action on Sunday, February 27th when they will compete at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship tournament at Mount Holyoke.  Fencing will begin at 9 AM.