Fencing eager to begin 2017-18 season

November 3, 2017

The men’s and women’s fencing teams start their 2017-2018 season this Saturday, Nov. 4, with the New England Fall Collegiate Championships at Smith College. Both teams had successful seasons last year.

The men’s team had two fencers win Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) honors; Ian Quin ’20 won Rookie of the Year with a 17-3 record, also earning him first-team All-NFC honors. The coach, Bill Shipman, and assistant coaches Arpad Horvath and Shuang Meng and armorer Al Merritt also won men’s Coaching Staff of the Year. This was Shipman’s fourth year in a row being honored and second year in a row that the NFC honored the entire coaching staff. Kyle Berney ’18 earned second-team selection after ending the season with a record of 20-6.

The men’s team went undefeated in the NFC earning a 10-0 record to win the team title. The Judges earned this title with close wins against Brown, 14-13, and 15-12 over runner-ups Boston College and Vassar College.

For the women, Jessica Gets ’20 earned Rookie of the Year while also taking home three other honors. Last season, Joanne Carminucci ’19, Nina Sayles ’17 and Liz Feller ’18 all earned second-team all NFC. It was Carminucci’s second year in a row earning this honor. Gets went 29-3 overall in NFC competition, which also earned her first-team All-NFC honors. With Gets and Carminucci, the women’s foil team was the only women’s team with two All-NFC honorees. Feller earned second-team selection in epee after going 29-7 in the NFC competition.

This season Coach Shipman looks at the accomplishments of the previous season as motivation for success for this season. For the women’s team, “We would like to defend our New England Championships, tournament title and top three in the Northeast Conference,” he says, adding, “This year’s team has a strong nucleus of fairly accomplished fencers and a promising group of less experienced fencers as well.”

The women’s captain, Laura Broffman ’18 said, “Last year was really exciting and it was great to see the team accomplish so much.” As the new season approaches, “our goal is to really build on our fundamental techniques and skills, and to improve individually throughout the season. And of course have fun!” Broffman spoke to the team’s strengths, highlighting that each fencer is “really passionate and hardworking.”

Looking to this coming tournament this weekend, Broffman sees it as a “warmup” for the upcoming season. “Everyone is excited to begin the season, but this tournament will allow us all to fence a lot of people from different schools see what the competition is life, and get into the mindset of competing again,” the captain said.

For the men, “This year’s team on appear should be equal or better than last year. We have added some good new fencers and return all return all but one starter. We will strive to win the Northeast Conference and the New England title, and upset a few of our Division I friends in dual meets along the way,” Shipman said. The coach emphasized that the men’s team has a lot of “depth and a fairly high experience level. Foil would seem to be our strongest, but perhaps saber will show to be best. Epee trailed them last year, but may come through strong this year.”

Shipman expects “medals in saber and foil, and several of our folks in the final of eight. Epee as well, though results three are less predictable and we don’t have quite as much depth there.”

Overall, the confidence level of the coach and the captains is quite high for very good results this season for both the women’s and men’s fencing teams.

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