This past weekend, the men’s and women’s fencing teams dominated the competition at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regionals, winning individual titles in all six categories. Building off their momentum from the Ivy League Fencing Round-Robins this February, the Tigers triumphed over the best teams in the country, including No. 6 Penn State and No. 5 Duke in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively.
“I know it is cliché to say ‘this year feels different,’ but I think the entire team would agree that this year is REALLY different,” sophomore saber and regional champion RJ Anglade wrote to The Daily Princetonian.
“I am very proud of the team’s performance and hope we can keep this momentum going forward to national championships,” added sophomore épée Ryan Lee, who placed fourth in his weapon this past weekend.
In collegiate fencing, there are three different weapons: épée, foil, and saber. Teammates for each weapon fence individual “bouts” to contribute towards individual and team performances.
18 of the 23 competing Tigers from this weekend placed within the top 10 in their designated weapons, including the six fencers who took home regional winning titles: Anglade, senior foil May Tieu, senior saber Chloe Fox-Gitomer, senior foil Mohamed Hamza, junior épée Tristan Szapary, as well as first-year épée Hadley Husisian.
“[The team’s] toughest competition at regionals was each other, which gives me confidence that we’ll have a strong performance at [the] NCAAs,” said Tieu.
Despite this internal competition, Princeton’s success this past weekend was also emblematic of the team’s unity and growth, according to Anglade and Hamza.
“[We had] the opportunity to combine efforts and compete as the entire Princeton fencing team,” Anglade noted.
“Everyone on the team has contributed to our winning mentality, and their attitudes above everything else is what makes me proud of them, always,” added Hamza.
The Tigers will now head off to the NCAA Championships, set for March 23 through March 26 at Duke in Durham, N.C. Princeton’s notable regional performance weighs heavily in the selection formula for placement in the championship competition, putting the team in a strong position at the pinnacle of their season.
“Regionals is a step towards the NCAA finals … because we have a real shot at winning NCAAs this year,” Hamza said. “Being able to win the championship this year means everything to us.”
Ava Seigel is a contributor to the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’
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