(Amherst, MA) - The Sacred Heart University Womens' Fencing Team completed their best Northeast Fencing Conference Season ever with a 5-1 day at UMASS Amherst on Saturday. Sacred Heart defeated Smith College 20-7, Dartmouth College 19-8, Tufts 17-10, UMASS 25-2, and Vassar College 14-13. The only blemish on the day was an 18-9 loss to Boston College. The Pioneers finished the league slate with a 10-2 record and sole possession of third place. They finished with an NCAA match record of 16-12, the best ever for the program.
SHU was led on the day by 17-1 performances team captain Jayme Smith in foil and freshman sensation Megan Floyd in epee. Both athletes are in contention for first team all-league honors. In addition to Smith and Floyd, other standout performances came from Aileen Trella (11-4) and Tess Kallmeyer (10-4) in foil, Natalie Rossetti (11-5) and Colleen Mason (11-6) in epee and Lauren Cebello in saber (10-8).
The Pioneers were hampered on the day by the absence of saber star Elena Tringa, who was out of action due to a hip flexor injury suffered at Columbia on Wednesday. "The women were fantastic today," said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel. "We knew that not having Tringa would be a big blow to our chances, but the team was determined to succeed. The win against Vassar was very satisfying, considering the circumstances. Vassar was the only team to beat Boston College this season, so we knew that they would be tough. You have to give a lot of credit to the leadership of our team captain Jayme Smith. She is a great leader both on and off the strip. Her enthusiasm and confidence is infectious. Megan Floyd was also awesome today. She is starting to realize just how good a collegiate epee fencer she is. Floyd has a great career in front of her."
The Pioneers are back in action in two weeks where they will be competing on Saturday, February 25th at Vassar where they will be competing at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Tournament and on Sunday , February 26th at NYU in the National Collegiate Squad Championship.