The Sacred Heart University Fencing Team's competition season concluded this weekend with major victories by the program. On Saturday, The Pioneer Women placed fourth overall on the strength of a silver medal performance by the epee squad. Foil finished in fourth and saber came in fifth. This strong result, coupled with SHU winning the Men's overall Championship, gave Sacred Heart Fencing its first combined NEIFC Title.
Six SHU starters qualified for the individual championship competition. The foil trio of Jayme Smith, Aileen Trella, and Tess Kallmeyer all qualified for the individual championship. Smith and Trella advanced to the final round where Trella won the silver medal and Smith placed sixth. In epee, Colleen Mason and Megan Floyd qualified and made the finals, where Mason placed fourth and Floyd sixth. In saber, Elena Tringa qualified for the individuals but did not advance to the finals. "Our women did a great job today," comments head coach Dr. Thoma Vrabel. "All of the squads had nice performances and it was great to see six of our nine starters make the individuals. It was very satisfying to see both the mens' and womens' programs get their first combined title."
The team continued its active weekend when it traveled to NYU on Sunday for the National Collegiate Squad Championships. Weapon squads from over 20 schools, including eight of the top ten nationally ranked fencing programs, competed in the event. The epee squad has done extremely well this season and was seeded seventh in the 18-team field. A first round win over the Brandeis Judges set up a quarterfinal match with the # 2 seeded Princeton Tigers. The Pioneers fought hard but just could not best the eventual champions from Princeton. The foil squad finished ninth in their event after losing a close match with Wayne State in the round of 16.
"The epee squad did a nice job in dominating Brandeis," said Dr. Vrabel. "We are peaking at the end of the season. I expect Tringa and Rossetti to be fully recovered from their injuries by NCAA Regionals and will join several of our fencers who have excellent chances to advance to the NCAA Championship competition."
The Pioneers are back in action on March 11th at Boston College for the regional round of the NCAA Championship.