Women's Fencing Holds Off NYU to 1-1 in New York

(New York, NY) - The Women's Fencing Team travelled to Columbia yesterday to take on the NYU Violets and the Columbia Lions, beating NYU in a 14-13 thriller before falling 26-1 against a tough Columbia squad.

The Pioneers got off to a strong start in the first match, holding off a determined NYU squad.  The effort was led by a sweep of epee from the trio of Natalie Rossetti, Colleen Mason, and Megan Floyd.  NYU dominated the saber 7-2, where only Elena Tringa was able to secure two victories for SHU.  This meant that going in to final three foil bouts, Sacred Heart needed to win two to secure the win.  They got off to a great start, as Tess Kallmeyer dominated her bout to get the first win.  Aileen Trella then lost a closely contested bout by a 5-4 margin.  This set up a winner take all bout between Pioneer team captain Jayme Smith and NYU's Audra Fox.  Smith got off to a fast 2-0 lead but Fox overtook the tempo of the actions to score the next three touches and grab a one-touch lead.  The fencers traded touches to make the score 4-3 in favor of Fox.  Smith then used crisp parries and ripostes to take the final two touches and secure the victory.  In the match against a very strong Lion Squad, Megan Floyd secured the sole victory for SHU.

"The NYU match was a great win for us," comments head coach Dr. Tom Vrabel.  "I knew that NYU would be determined to avenge their earlier loss to us and that it would take another dominating effort from our epee squad to secure the win.  NYU's epee squad is pretty talented, but we match up well with them.  Our epee fencers went in to their bouts with a lot of confidence and determination.  Last time we needed sweeps by Smith and Tringa in foil and epee to secure the win.  When they were only able to get two wins each, this meant that someone else had to step up to make the difference.  It was very satisfying to see how Tess Kallmeyer was able to come through for us.  Her win in the third round gave Smith the chance to secure the match.  She has been so confident in her game this season, I knew that if the bout was close, Jayme would bring it home for us."

"Columbia is by far the strongest women's team that we have seen this year," continued Dr. Vrabel.  "They are very talented and physically impressive.  I think that Columbia has to be considered one of the favorites for the NCAA Championship this season. "

The Pioneers are back in action on Saturday, February 11th at UMASS Amherst where they will take on six teams including Boston College and Vassar at the final Northeast Fencing Conference competition of the season.  Sacred Heart is currently tied for first place in the league standings and is eager to go for their first ever NFC championship.  Action begins at 9 AM.