Fencing Thrills in Dominant Wins

Williams went 3-0 in sabre on Sunday, when NYU took on Boston College, Brown University, Haverford College, MIT, Hunter College and host Brandeis University at the Eric Solee Invitational in Waltham, MA.

With the regular season winding down, NYU’s men’s and women’s fencing had an action-packed weekend highlighted by the men’s most thrilling performance in recent memory. Most of the competing took place at the Eric Solee Invitational in Waltham, Massachusetts. Both teams faced a long list of opponents on Saturday, including a number of familiar foes.

The men’s portion of the event featured a remarkable performance by the Violets as they tore through their competition. After defeating Boston College in their closest match of the day 17-10, the Violets were unstoppable, defeating their final five opponents by a combined score of 110-25. They went down in order, as Violet sabres, foils and epees made quick work of school after school. Brown University, Haverford College, MIT, Hunter College and host Brandeis University were all overwhelmed by a Violets team peaking as the season reaches its climax.

Dominant performances were commonplace on Saturday, especially in foil, where numerous Violets quickly racked up wins, led by sophomore Philip Shin’s 16. Sophomore Yash Srivastav and freshmen Siegfried Gokea and Kyle Welch further anchored the team at foil, with a combined record of 22-1. Not far behind Shin was Daniel Sconzo, who racked up 15 wins of his own.

Strong performances also carried over to sabre and epee. Sophomore Hans Engel led the charge at epee with 14 wins, just ahead of junior John Cramerus’ 12-4 mark. Freshman Grant Williams was the best at sabre, finishing with 14.

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The women’s team was a bit busier, competing on Sunday against Tufts University in addition to the invitational. The weekend was a mixed bag for the women’s team, who were able to come out of a mid-invitational lull to finish Sunday strong. The Violets went 2-4 in Waltham, with victories coming against Haverford and Hunter College. The momentum the Violets gained with their victory over Hunter carried over to Sunday’s action against Tufts, where the team finally seemed to be coming together. Freshman foil Alisa Traskunov has seen the growth first-hand.

“I think we have a great group of students — both the new freshmen recruits and the upperclassmen — and to witness all this talent on a regular basis is inspiring,” Traskunov said.

Even with an uneven win-loss mark, numerous Violets stood out on Saturday. Like the men, the women’s team was strongest at foil. A pair of freshman, Traskunov and Anastasiya Muravyeva were the star performers, combining for a solid 25-10 record. Muravyeva’s success continued into Sunday, where she finished 3-0 against Tufts. At sabre, the Violets relied on a trio of combatants as junior Cydney Williams and freshmen Maria Free and Jacqueline Tubbs totaled 27 wins on Saturday. Hannah Bennett’s 9-7 record over the weekend was the team’s best in epee.

“I think the most important thing for me to remember for the championships and in general is that I remain calm on the strip, show good sportsmanship, and think about my actions,” Traskunov said.

Both teams are back in action on Feb. 10 at Columbia University for the Historical Meet, two days before the U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb 1. print edition. Email Michael Thompson at [email protected]

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