The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Fencing finishes regular season with MACFA Championships

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Fencing now looks forward to hosting regionals after competing in the MACFA tournament. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Over the past four weeks, the fencing team competed in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Fencing Association (MACFA) tournament. The team faced Johns Hopkins University on Feb. 12 and Drew University on Feb. 18 before heading to Drew for the MACFA Championships last weekend to wrap up its regular season.

“I was looking for a good performance to add to our season. We had a very, very good year,” head coach Dayn Derose said.

The men finished seventh out of 15 teams in the overall team competition. Both the foil and epee squads finished in sixth, with sabre finishing in ninth.

“We had a lot of fatigue. Practicing at 6 a.m. every day is tough and we’re getting used to it,” Derose said. “As a result, we did not do as well as I predicted, but it’s still a solid result. These kids have more in them, but they were tired.”

Sophomore Benito Hergert led the Leopards individually in the foil, with 12 wins. He finished the event tied for third place with an athlete from Johns Hopkins. Classmate Amir Whitehead finished the day with nine wins in foil, good for 14th place.

“The tournament was challenging. We didn’t do as well as we hoped we could,” Hergert said. “Other teams were fencing really well that day. Going forward, we want to mainly get in shape in the off-season, and everyone can hopefully come back next year and really progress at the start of the season with properly organized practices.”

Freshman Tyler Morse placed eighth in epee, with Sophomore Antoine Mannes finishing in 13th. Both athletes recorded nine wins on the day. 

“We did really well against the Army team and Stevens team in general. Both ended up in the top three,” Morse said. “Hopefully next year we can get some more recruits and build a better team. Most of us are almost qualified for regionals, and our main goal is for all of us to qualify for regionals next year.”

Senior Matthew Decker added seven wins in sabre, finishing 10th.

“Overall I’m really happy with how everyone did. I think foil and epee really killed it as usual, and overall there’s a lot I want to work on with sabre,” he said. “There were a lot of schools that we saw and really said ‘we’re better.’ As we continue to rebuild, I want to see sabre really rise up the ranks and beat these schools that I believe we should be beating.”

Starting Saturday at 9 a.m., Lafayette will host 13 teams for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional at Kirby Sports Center. Thirteen Lafayette members qualified for the event; for the men: Hergert, Whitehead, freshman Alex Brown, Mannes, Morse and Decker. On the women’s side: senior Danielle Long, juniors Abby Schlotterbeck and Amanda Manubag, sophomores Anna Silver and Zoe O’Connor, and freshmen Emily Wells and Allison Ramsay.

“We’re looking for them to do as well as they can. Even though you don’t have to qualify to get into MACFA, individuals need to fence really well in order to qualify for individual regionals,” Derose said. “Miracles happen, and someone can do really well that day to qualify for nationals, but I simply want us to fence the best we can, and if it happens, it happens.”

Derose believes next year will be different for the team in terms of getting to nationals.

“I predict in a few years it will happen. We have two winning teams, this hasn’t happened in years,” he said. “I’ve followed Lafayette since 1995 and knew players had potential, but it’s truly beginning to gel now.”

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About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Caroline McParland
Caroline McParland, Sports Editor

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