CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Playing on an all-Sacred Heart squad, current men's fencing sophomore Tomas Koeck teamed up with SHU alumni Stuart and Andrew Holmes and earned a silver medal in the 2020 January North American Cup.
After earning a bye into the second round of the senior team men's foil competition, SHU fenced one of the three NYU squads and triumphed with a 45-28 victory in a match Stuart dominated with only one touch scored against.
In the quarterfinal round, the SHU squad went up against SCAD-Atlanta which featured Latvian National Team member, Vitaljis Kuceba. Trailing 10-2, Andrew went on a 13-0 run against Eric Paracka to put the team in the lead, 15-10. Kuceba pushed Atlanta back into the lead until Andrew defeated Kuceba 5-4 and used the momentum to make an 8-4 run against George Wen to put the SHU team back in the lead at 30-29. Hitting the mat with just a one-point advantage, Koeck slammed the door shut on a win as he found a 5-2 win against Wen and Stuart capped a 5-4 win against Andy Zhang to send the squad into the semifinals with a 45-39 quarterfinal win.
Following the thrilling quarterfinal victory, the SHU-led team matched up against the ultra-talented San Francisco "White" squad that featured Germany's European Champion Arwen Borowiak among others. Stuart set the tone for the match early, cruising past Borowiak before Andrew edged out a 5-3 victory over Ziyuan Chen from China. Koeck pushed past Borowiak and Chen by 5-3 and 5-1 margins, respectively, that put the squad ahead 35-22. Andrew played to a 5-5 deadlock with Borowiak to make it 40-27 and Stuart capped a 5-2 win against Clayton Reid of the USA to finish the 45-29 victory, sending the team into the finals.
In the final, the all-SHU squad's tremendous run came to an end against the San Francisco "Red" team by a 45-25 margin.
Outside of the team tournament, first-year Lawrence Tan showed very well in the Div. I men's foil bracket as he cruised into the round of 32 as the #74 seed behind three victories. In Tan's run, he defeated Andy Zhang 15-5 in the opening round before toppling Andrew Holmes 15-7 in the round of 128 and Brandon Li 15-7 in the round of 64 before falling to Jack Oursler 15-11 in the round of 32.
Koeck and Tan return to the mat for SHU this weekend with a trip to Philly as the Pioneers take part in the Penn Dual Meet on Saturday, January 18th.