Girls fencing ends second season in a row undefeated

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Photo by Kari Iocolano.

To start off the last match of the regular season, the Hawks’ foil squad took an early 15-6 lead. The game looked to be rather uneventful from the start. However, in the fifth bout, Francis Lewis began a two-bout rally as junior foil captains Alondra Lerebours and Eva Jiang gave up a total of 20 points. The rally allowed Francis Lewis to tie the score at 29-29. Fortunately, the Hawks rebounded from the sudden rally to defeat Francis Lewis 45-36.

In regards to Francis Lewis’s temporary comeback, Eva simply replied that she made sure “to not let the score get to her,” and that being “backed by the whole team really spurred [her] on.”

Alondra agreed with her teammate Eva and also added, “I knew I’d let myself and my team down if I lost and I didn’t want to do that.”

After foil, epee began. The Harris epeeists swept Francis Lewis for the second and last time this regular season. The team struggled early on, with only a five-point lead after the third bout, but slowly rallied throughout subsequent bouts to finish 43-25. Sophomore Rebekah Jones turned in a career high of 18 touches for the epee squad.

The sixteen-match win streak dates back to April 8, 2013 when the Hawks defeated Francis Lewis 89-59.

Junior Catherine Ng notes that “being undefeated is almost tradition.”

Over the course of the streak the girls fencing team has scored 1,432 touches while only allowing opposing teams to score a little more than half of that number on them—759, to be exact. They have also won 227 of the 288 bouts that have taken place in the last sixteen regular season matches, losing only 46 bouts and tying 15 bouts.

In the midst of all these victories, notable fencers like last year’s Wingate Award winner and THHS 2013 alumna Fariha Hussain have been replaced by a new generation of fencers, some of whom fenced before even entering high school.

Freshman Doreen Wu expressed that “it felt awesome knowing I played a role, even if it was tiny, in such an amazing accomplishment.”

“Honestly I don’t feel that special because every member contributes in her own way,” said Rebecca Jones as she cited that the extension of the streak into this season was because of a group effort as opposed to individual performances.

On May 18, the team, seeded fourth in the A Division, attended playoffs at the City College of New York. Before the event, regarding her outlook on playoffs, coach Katherine Yan stated, “We can’t underestimate other teams. But we are confident that we will be fine if the girls fence their best.”

The Hawks, having not missed a single playoff appearance since Ms. Yan succeeded former coach Debra Michlewitz, placed third overall in the city. The epee team, led by epee captains junior Emily Cirulnick and Rebekah, placed first in the city, defeating their fierce opponent Hunter College High School, who has won first overall in the city for five consecutive years. The foil team, led by Alondra and Eva, earned fifth place.

Regarding their performance, Ms. Yan praised her team: “They communicated really well and came up with tactics to defeat the team.”