There was plenty on the line for the NYU fencing teams Wednesday evening at Columbia University as four universities battled for bragging rights at the annual Historical Meet. During this meet, the Violets attempted to retake a trophy that has been in Columbia’s possession for nearly half a decade, snatching city superiority back in the process.
The Martin Preschel Memorial Award was up for grabs as NYU and Columbia duked it out in an action-packed day of fencing. The men’s team faced stiff competition, but defeated Columbia in both the sabre and foil competitions. However, the Violets were handily ousted in epee and ultimately lost 15-12, failing in their quest to bring the trophy home. Despite the loss, the abundance of competition gave NYU’s men and women a chance to shine. After being defeated in a closely contested match against Columbia, the men’s team quickly bounced back, ousting Vassar College and Sacred Heart University to finish on a winning note.
Freshman sabre Grant Williams was dominant, going a perfect 8-0 over the course of the evening. Not far behind Williams were foils Quinten Burgunder and Mickey Bak, who together won 10 matches. Williams was ecstatic over the team’s performance — including in the loss to Columbia.
“Although we narrowly lost to Columbia, I think defeating the 2015 NCAA champions should be no problem next season as our team develops even more,” Williams said.
The Violets remained strong during the foil and epee matches. Philip Shin and Daniel Sconzo combined for 11 foil victories, and John Cramerus led the epee charge with five wins. Kyle Welch also contributed to the cause, and is confident the Violets are constantly improving.
“There were certainly bouts that could have gone our way that didn’t,” Welch said. “But overall our roster seems be shaping up well as we head towards regionals.”
But struggles were to be had on the women’s side, as the Violets’ defeat to the elite Columbia team was followed by two rocky final matches against Vassar and Sacred Heart. The Violets were initially able to recover from their previous loss, defeating Vassar in a tight 16-11 contest, but fell to 18-9 Sacred Heart.
Freshman foil Anastasiya Muravyeva continued her strong season, finishing with four victories, matching fellow foil Marissa Posner. Hannah Bennett also remained consistent, racking up five epee victories. The Violets’ supporting cast included an undefeated performance by foil Cydney Williams and four wins by sabre Jacqueline Tubbs.
The pressure intensifies this Friday as the members of the Violets’ fencing teams compete at the U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. The competition runs through President’s Day weekend, ending on Monday, Feb. 15.
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