Girls fencing ends undefeated

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There’s no foiling this team’s plans.

The Girls Varsity Fencing team has finished its season with an undefeated record of 10-0, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since their 2010-11 season, in which they ended 8-0.

Coached by English teacher Katherine Yan, the Hawks have felt in control all season, being challenged by only Francis Lewis and Cardozo; but even those matches were won by over ten touches combined between foil and epee.

As senior captain Fariha Hussain said, “the team is definitely stronger this year because we have a lot of returning fencers.”

This experience has served to not only help the team throughout the regular season but will likely help the Hawks go deep in the playoffs. To have this success the team has had “intense workouts, but still manages to have fun and continues to make improvements over the course of the season,” Hussain added.

Senior captain Alanna Leung shared Fariha’s sentiments. “This year, the team is much more seasoned. Last year there were no seniors, so all the starters were either juniors or freshmen. We’ve become more used to fencing competitively, and know how to handle the pressure better.”

The second to last match of the season against Information Technology HS took place on May 1, where the foil squad won by a score of 45 touches to 21 touches and the epee squad won by a score of 45 touches to 21 touches. The epee squad was missing one of its starters but despite this fact they were able to rally together and still pull off the victory.

In Townsend’s last match with Cardozo on April 19th, the foil squad won 45 to 35 and the epee squad won 45 to 36. They won all but three of the eighteen total bouts. In épée, before heading to the last bout, the score was tied at 35-35. Fariha scored 10 points in the last bout and only allowed Cardozo to score once on her, sealing the victory.

Townsend also has quite a few fencers at the top of the PSAL leaderboards in touches for: Fariha Hussain (138), Alondra Lerebours (120), Alanna Leung (111) and Margaret Jia (93). They also have three fencers in the top ten in wins: Fariha Hussain (23), Alondra Lerebours (21) and Alanna Leung (19).

Although the Hawks were undefeated in 2011, both épée and foil were not undefeated and so senior captain Margaret Jia was “looking forward to an undefeated season in both epee and foil.”

Both squads being undefeated as well as the team being undefeated overall has been a goal of the team.

In fencing, an épée is a sharp-pointed dueling sword designed for thrusting, whereas a foil is a light fencing sword without cutting edges but with a button on its point.

In foil, the target areas are the torso and back, and anything besides that is considered off-target. In épée, everything is on target, so it tends to move at a slower pace due to the patience and carefulness that the sport demands.

Margaret has also been “proud of the team’s unity and I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated, gifted and lovable team.”

Alanna described a similar sense of team effort. “Fencing matches are essentially relay races; one person can fall behind in points made, but teammates are always there to pick up the slack. I think we’re successful because we work hard, and because we work well as a team together.”

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