The Lafayette fencing team finished their regular season this past weekend with two matches against Drew University, losing both contests by a close 14-13 margin. The competition against the Rangers marked the final contest of a shortened spring season for the Leopards.
The women’s team hung tough with the Rangers, but a lopsided épée score by Drew was too much for the Leopards to overcome each time. Drew University won the épée matches 7-2 in the first game, but the Leopards battled back with wins in both the foil (6-3) and sabre (5-4) divisions. But the Rangers totaled one more point for a 14-13 win heading into the second match.
“Everything has been different,” said senior Bora Mutis, the men’s captain. “It has been a total new learning curve. It was difficult to get adjusted to the short season. It was especially difficult for freshmen as they’re looking for guidance from upperclassmen but we knew as much as they did.”
Drew won the épée tally in the second match by an even greater score, 8-1, but Lafayette increased their margin of victory in sabre, 7-2, before winning foil by an identical 5-4 mark. The Leopards came up just short in the match, losing 14-13 once again.
The Leopards received contributions across the board, as junior sabre Carolyn Feigeles and sophomore foil Danielle Long spearheaded Lafayette’s efforts. Both Feigeles and Long went a perfect 6-0 on the day in their individual bouts.
Freshman foil Abby Schlotterbeck went 5-1 in her individual bouts, while junior sabre Bella Moger posted a 4-2 record for the Leopards in her bouts. Senior sabre Emily Cook won three matches, junior épée Lily Manetta won twice and junior épée Elise Hummel earned one win.
“Coach Rupp did his best to prepare us,” Mutis said. “We were in the gym and very excited to have bouts. We went into the season looking to stay sharp and looking to improve upon what we had last year with coach Rupp.”
The Lafayette men’s team struggled, losing 21-6 and 22-5 in their bouts against Drew. Mutis led the way for the men, going 5-1 in his individual foil bouts.
“I think I did well this season,” Mutis said. “It was not my best season by any means, but I went out there and fought and was a good leader.”
Sophomore Matt Decker and freshman Alex Batrak added two wins each to Lafayette’s total in sabre and foil, respectively. Junior épée Sean FitzGibbon and junior sabre William McAlpine recorded one win apiece.
Reflecting on a pandemic-shortened senior season, Mutis reminisced about the good memories from his time on the fencing team.
“It’s been a rewarding experience, especially considering not everyone gets to be a student-athlete at such an elite level,” Mutis said. “I’m truly humbled and blessed by the entire experience. My biggest high was my freshman and sophomore year when I medaled at Match of Champs. That was great personal accolade. I also made regionals my freshmen through junior year which was a great experience.”