At the NYU Invitational last Sunday, the Bulldogs (5-6) were foiled by two of the best squads in the country and a revenge-seeking host team en route to a 2-3 performance.
The Elis beat Wayne State 16-11 and dominated Stevens 17-10 in their two best performances of the day. Against the Wayne State Warriors, the foil squad won all nine of their bouts and the sabre team finished 6-3 to make up for a 1-5 performance by the epee squad. The team won all three weapons against Stevens in their most impressive victory of the day.
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Against NYU, the Elis fought hard but were unable to beat a team they had overcome earlier in the season. The match against the Violets came at the end of the day and the team didn’t perform up to expectations.
“Some of it just comes down to our physical well-being,” John Gurrieri ’10 said. “When we played NYU, we were all really tired. We had just fenced against good teams.”
The Violets — particularly their coach — seemed intent on avenging their November loss to the Bulldogs.
“Their coach went out of his way to get us to fence them,” Gurrieri said. “He really wanted to fence us again for revenge because he felt like an idiot for losing to us.”
Although the Bulldogs’ 2-3 result may seem disappointing, most members of the team were encouraged by their performance. The Bulldogs’ two losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State were not particularly surprising considering that both programs field consistently good fencing squads.
“Notre Dame and Ohio State are in the top three in the country and, well … we’re not,” Johnny Beski ’07 said.
The sabre squad had to deal with an injury to Adrian Latortue ’10, who hurt his back over winter break, but were paced by Sebastian Cano-Besquet ’09, who won all three of his matches against Wayne State. The epee squad was up and down over the course of the day as they struggled against a relatively weak Wayne State team but managed to beat Notre Dame, one of the better squads in the nation. As the relatively inexperienced Bulldogs develop as a team, their consistency should improve as the season wears on, Beski said.
“We need to actually gain a little more experience,” he said. “Most of our team is fairly inexperienced and if we can rise above that we can do much better.”
Freshman foilist John Gurrieri is one of the team’s best young fencers and continued his remarkable rookie campaign this weekend by winning all three of his bouts against Stevens, though he was not particularly pleased with his own performance.
“We could have done better at NYU, especially me,” Gurrieri said. “I’ve had trouble adjusting to college, I’m used to training with different people and having a different coach. I want to start training a lot more rigorously in the summer.”
Team captain Michael Aboodi ’07 said he thought his team showed a lot of heart and was particularly impressed with the new members on the team.