Last weekend the team traveled to Haverford for the first MACFA meet of the year. Spirits were high and the competition was awesome all day long.
- Our first school-wide victory over Navy in MACFA
- First victories over varsity fencers for: Polala Wang ’21, Liam Hyde ’20, Madeline Myers ’20, Gaetan Poirier ’19, Ruoying Hao ’18
- Other victories over varsity fencers: Steven Pressendo ’19, Pulak Raj ’20, Benjamin Coleman ’19, Chrysanthi Stevens ’19, Gabriella Carney ’18, Cecilia Hoover ’18
- Highest rated defeated opponents: #15 defeated by Hyde, #2 defeated by Pressendo
Men’s Foil: The competition at Haverford was extremely tough, but Faisal Alami ’20, Matt Cusick ’20, and Stuart Thomas ’21 fenced very well regardless. Matt 3-0’d Navy, and even scored a back touch on an unsuspecting opponent. Faisal’s energy and aggression were key in his victories. When it looked like the odds were not in Stuart’s favor, he would land strong counterattacks to even things up. All three men’s foilists managed to score a number of great touches against Johns Hopkins and Haverford. Pushing hard through the highs and lows, the squad is eager to continue to sharpen their skills at future MACFA events.
Women’s Foil: Elizabeth Sutterlin ’20, Julie Vu ’20, and Polala Wang ’21 arrived at Haverford on Saturday pumped up and ready to take on the stiff competition. They defeated Navy 6-3 in the first round, Elizabeth winning her last bout in a contentious 4-4 overtime. But the biggest win of the day for foil squad wasn’t against another school at all, but our own equipment. Broken foils abounded, but after the only lefty foil stopped working, Julie was unfazed, calmly using her armory skills in a pinch to swap grips with a team weapon and continue fencing. The match against Haverford on their home turf was full of close, nail-biting bouts. Polala shone under pressure, winning the squad’s only victory for that round 5-4. The final bouts against Johns Hopkins were, as Julie put it, “insightful.” All three girls returned to Williamsburg having learned a lot from the day, excited to keep practicing in preparation for our spring competitions.
Women’s Epee: Ready to show the MACFA schools what they got, Morgan Blackwelder, ‘21, Ruoying Hao, ‘18, and Cecilia Hoover, ‘18 rolled into Haverford ready to win. Despite it being her first tournament, Morgan showed how hard she’d been training, with well-timed counterattacks. Ruoying, with her non-stop aggression, pushed opponents to the limit, nearly running several girls off strip. Cecilia showed off her new ability to flick, defeating Haverford’s A-strip in a tough 4-5 match.
Men’s Epee: With some new blood, men’s epee, consisting of Ben Coleman, ‘19, Pulak Raj, ‘20, and Gaёtan Poirier, ‘19, was ready to show what William and Mary could do. Ben used his steady tempo to his advantage, luring opponents too close then finishing them with a devastating 8-parry. Pulak, fresh off of earning his B, used his active footwork combined with crushing 4 parry to wreck all opponents in his way. In his first collegiate tournament, Gaёtan got into the spirit of competition and showed how well he handle himself on the strip. In all, men’s epee is looking forward to crush the competition in the upcoming MACFA’s!
Women’s Saber: At the start of the day, W&M saber was put up against Navy, one of our most challenging competitors. However, our women’s saber fencers were fresh and ready to put up a good fight. Madeline Myers, ’20, beautifully sky-hooked her flabbergasted opponent. Chrysanthi Stevens, ’19, repeatedly made her opponents taste the rainbow (aka the term for a sassy parry five and immediate repost). Our next competitors, Maryland, didn’t bring their women’s fencers, but that certainly didn’t stop Emory Magner, ’19, from bouting the men’s squad and beating one of them with killer lunges. Finally, as her proudest moment, Gabriella Carney, ’18, won 5-3 against Hopkin’s varsity lefty, which was her last bout of the day. Overall, our women’s saber fencers had a great time and learned a lot.
Men’s Saber: The men’s saber squad had a great day, toppling each club and taking bouts off each varsity team that we met. Troy Cullen ‘21 went undefeated against Maryland, leading the squad to victory. His fancy flunges and unbreakable focus impressed schools throughout the entire day. Despite trouncing his first opponents, he still managed to fence more intelligently as the day progressed. Andre Coscia ‘19 opened the day with a 5-0 victory over a rival from Navy. With Andre’s win, men’s saber beat Navy resoundingly and clinched WM’s first school-wide MACFA victory over Navy. With his sneaky counterattacks, Liam Hyde ‘20 surprised opponents all day. After a series of speedy ripostes, Liam launched a quick attack off the line to score his first victory over a varsity fencer. Steven Pressendo ’19 had fun reuniting with (and beating) old friends at other schools. His biggest victory of the day came when he upset the silver medalist from last year’s MACFA Championships. After a great kickoff to the MACFA season, our squad can’t wait for our next shot at competition.