Huntington fencing team falls to Brentwood in season opener

Huntington fencing team falls to Brentwood in season opener

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Hanae Wada clashes with her foil opponent. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Brentwood fencing team was too much for the Huntington Blue Devils to handle, as the boys fell 15-12, and the girls lost 18-9, Monday night.

On the boys’ side, Brentwood dominated Huntington in epée, winning seven of nine bouts, which set the tone for the rest of the match. Notching victory for the Blue Devils in epée was Finn Tucker, who managed to take two out of three, defeating his opponents 5-3 and 5-4 before dropping his third by a single point.

On the girls’ strip, Huntington struggled to fill the card, and forfeited three matches as a result of fencers being ineligible due to practice issues, which, according to Huntington head coach Jillian Melnick, is not uncommon this early in the season.

“We were fencing their best of their best, but unfortunately, not all of our fencers were eligible,” Melnick said, adding that each fencer needs a certain number of practices to qualify for the first meet.

Senior Elisa Medina-Jaudes took two out of three in epée, defeating her opponents 5-3 and 5-4 before she too dropped her third match by a single point.

Jack O’Heir, right, battles his epée opponent. Photo by Bill Landon
Jack O’Heir, right, battles his epée opponent. Photo by Bill Landon

“Brentwood has always been an equal match for us,” Medina-Jaudes said. “We were missing some of our best players, but I think we did well overall. We were able to hold our own, but we struggled without those players.”

Melnick said she is always pleased with her senior’s performance.

“Elisa performed well, as she stayed cool under pressure,” she said. “She’s a leader out there on the strip, where she kept her entire team rooting for one another.”

The boys took foil with a dominant performance by Dylan Collier, who won all three of his bouts 5-2, 5-0 and 5-3. Huntington took the foil card 5-4.

The girls struggled in foil, and managed only three wins to Brentwood’s six. Leading the card for Huntington was Hanae Wada, with two victories, defeating her opponents 5-2 and 5-4, while Sabrina Floro won her match 5-1.

“We did really well considering we didn’t have all of our varsity starters, so we saw new people step up,” Wada said. “We’ve got to work on being more aggressive, but we got a lot of touches today.”

Huntington’s Zach McGinniss won two out of three in sabre, besting his opponents 5-1 and 5-3, dropping his third match 3-5. Brentwood took the boys’ sabre card 5-4.

“Brentwood’s a good team; they’re consistent every year — they have good fencers, and I expected them to bring what they did today,” Huntington senior epéeist Jack O’Heir said. “We didn’t have our full varsity team, but I think each of us performed to our potential.”

Kelly Tenbus won two of her sabre matches, 5-1 and 5-3, and Adina Kirkland won her bout 5-2. But again, Brentwood bested the card, taking sabre 6-3.

“[Brentwood] showed superior technique today,” Melnick said. “We’ll practice in specific bouts where they’ll have to be aggressive in order to get the touch. Some of the kids were nervous and fell back on defense instead of pushing their own offense.”

Senior epéeist Stefano Ornato echoed O’Heir’s sentiment.

“They’re a solid team,” he said of Brentwood. “But missing as many players as we did, I thought we did pretty well with what we had.”

The Blue Devils hit the road for their next match, where they will take on Newfield on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.m.