November 17, 2009

Pioneer Fencers Start Season with Seven Victories at Vassar Invitational

Nov. 17, 2009

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - The Sacred Heart Womens Fencing Team started their dual match season on Sunday at the Vassar Invitational and the Pioneers ripped through the competition and came away with seven wins.

The Pioneers came away with wins over Drew University (16-11), Haverford College (18-9), Hunter College (19-8), CCNY (18-9), Gueens College (17-10), Yeshiva (19-8) and Stevens Tech (14-13). The sole loss of the day was to perennial power Cornell, 18-9.

The most exciting match of the day for the Pioneers was against Stevens Tech. The final round of saber began with the schools tied at 12 wins each. In the first bout SHU's Lauren Cebello lost to Erica Mandadori 5-3, setting up sudden death bouts for Elena Tringa and team captain Krista Bacci. Tringa cme back from a 4-3 deficit with two strong attacks to defeat Krista Sticco of Stevens 5-4.

This set up a winner take all match between Bacci and Steven's Juliet Turalski. Krista took charge from start and delivered a 5-3 win to clinch the match for the Pioneers. In addition to Bacci and Tringa's 3-0 performances in this match, freshman foilist Jayme Smith also went 3-0 in securing this win for SHU.

Saber led the way for Sacred Heart, posting an overall 54-20 record. Elena Tringa was a perfect 10-0 and Krista Bacci 9-2 in their bouts. Head Coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel rested Bacci and Tringa in several matches to allow the non starters to gain experience. Senior and two year starter fenced in most of the matches and posted an impressive 19-6 record while freshman Lauren Cebello went 9-5 and senior Courtney Perlee was 7-7 on the day.

"I was pleased with the performance of the saber squad today," comments Dr. Vrabel. "Tringa and Bacci were strong today and did very well (Tringa 3-0 and Bacci 2-1) against a tough Cornell squad. Sagevick was solid and did an exceptional job in the last four matches. Saber continues to be the strength of the team and Bacci and Tringa picked up from where they left off in their silver and bronze medal finishes at the Big One. We will need similar strong performances from the to be successful next Saturday at Brown."

Pioneer freshmen led the way in foil and epee. Foil finished with an overall 32-36 record on the day. Freshman Jayme Smith had the best day ever for a foilist, posting a 15-2 record, including 2 wins against Cornell.

"Jayme was great today," said Dr. Vrabel. "Her timing and movement were excellent. She is a wonderful addition to the program. Jayme not only has a great game herself but acts like another coach for the team. We look for her to have a great career at SHU."

Epee was led by the Connecticut tandem of senior squad captain Ali Roach (Bridgeport, CT) and freshman Colleen Mason (Waterford, CT). Roach was 14-6 and Mason 16-7 for the day.

"This was probably the best individual performance that Ali Roach has had in her career," commented Vrabel. "She has been able to elevate her game this year and is a fantastic squad captain. Colleen did not fence at the Big One, so we were not quite sure how she would handle her first collegiate contest. She had a good day, especially taking two wins against Cornell. I see Colleen to be right on track to be a contender for all league honors this year."

The Pioneer women are next in action this Saturday at Brown University for the first Northeast fencing Conference meet of the season.