February 8, 2014

Women’s Fencing Clinches First NFC Title with Perfect 6-0 Saturday

DURHAM, N.H. - The Sacred Heart women's fencing team won all six of its matches Saturday at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, clinching its first NFC championship on the final day of the conference season.

The Pioneers defeated Vassar 21-6, UMass 25-2, Boston College 16-11, Tufts 21-6, Dartmouth 21-6 and Smith 23-4.  All three weapon squads were dominant on the day, with saber going 45-9, epee 42-12 and foil 41-14.  The amazing freshmen saber duo of Taylor Walsh (17-1) and Julia Greene (16-2) were joined by an excellent performance from sophomore saber squad captain Lindsey Severud (11-5).  Epee was led by identical 16-2 days from senior squad captain Natalie Rossetti and junior Megan Floyd.  The foil starters also had fine performances, led by sophomore CJ McCarter (15-2), junior team captain Tess Kallmeyer (13-3) and junior Aileen Trella (11-4).   

In addition to sharing the conference's women's championship with Brown, the Pioneers will also share the combined NFC Title since the Sacred Heart men also tied with Brown for the men's conference crown. 

"Today's accomplishment was the result a season of hard work and dedication and the gelling of this group of fencers into one of the finest and tightest knit teams that I have coached," said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "This was a day where all of our starters made key, critical contributions that either turned the momentum our way or shut down the beginnings of a comeback from opponents.  We dominated against teams that came into the day with their own opportunities to take the conference championship and we just would not let them get any momentum." 

"There were no holes in our lineup today," Vrabel added. "I am very pleased that fencers like Lindsey Severud and Aileen Trella had breakout days for their seasons.  Tufts (saber), Boston College (epee) and Dartmouth (foil) all had a dominant weapon squad that had dominated in league competition.  We knew that it would be critical for us to keep them from having big days against us.  The way that saber fenced (5-4 squad win) against Tufts and how epee kept BC and foil kept Dartmouth to only 5 wins each allowed our other weapon squads to dominate and decide these critical matches pretty early in the contests."

"While I can't say enough about how our stars like Greene and Walsh in saber, Rossetti and Floyd in epee and McCarter in foil performed and fenced up to their potential, this accomplishment is really a tribute to the unbelievable effort that our team captain Tess Kallmeyer made to get this conference championship for Sacred Heart", continued Dr. Vrabel.  "Her thirteen wins today tell only a small part of the story.  She has worked extremely hard to create a team spirit and focus that is absolutely second to none.  Our ability to be bigger than the sum of our parts is a testament to what Tess has put into our team this season.  She is an amazing leader."     

The Pioneers will be back in action at the New England Intercollegiate Championship Tournament at Mount Holyoke College on Saturday, February 22, 2014.  Action will start at 9 AM.