The entire fencing team has its eyes on a national title, but while many fencers are in mid-season form, some are still struggling to find their stroke.
“I think we basically did what was expected of us,” said men’s captain Adrian Bak of the team’s performance this past weekend at St. John’s.
And what they did was rather compelling. The men’s team finished the day 5-0.
Among the hurdles the No. 2 Nittany Lions faced during the day was No. 1 Ohio State. The Lions defeated the Buckeyes in 14 of 18 individual bouts in men’s foil and saber competition.
“[Beating Ohio State] means that we can definitely keep up with the top teams and be competitors for the national championship,” Bak said.
Considering the fencing program has delivered the White Building five national championship banners since 2000, it is not surprising that Bak and company are already peering into the future.
Bak finished Saturday’s St. John’s Invitational a near-perfect 4-1, but some fencers are still working the kinks out, including David Gomez-Tanamachi.
The Mexican Olympian was 5-1 entering the weekend, but posted an underwhelming 3-2 record during the New York trip.
Gomez-Tanamachi said his mindset has not wavered one bit this season, whether facing top competition like Notre Dame and the Buckeyes this past weekend, or more lean competition, like NYU and Sacred Heart earlier in the schedule.
“Every meet, no matter who we are fencing … we are always going to do our best,” Gomez-Tanamachi said.
While the men’s day was a huge success, the same cannot be said for the women, who finished the day 3-2.
Despite Margherita Guzzi-Vincenti going 13-2 in women’s epee competition (which improves her to an astounding 37-5 on the season), her fellow epee teammates were the complete opposite, going 5-25.
Likewise, Nicole Glon is often thought to be good for a few big wins, but the junior struggled on Saturday, losing four of her five bouts.
“It was a tough meet for us,” said an optimistic Glon. “It says a lot about our character and that we can have a lot of things to work on. But winning a title isn’t far from our reach.”
Just two regular season meets and NCAA regional qualifying take place before the national championships begin March 21.
Glon said she believes that down the stretch of the 2013 season, the best is yet to come.
“ […] I am happy with the improvement that we’re making and I think that if we keep progressing and if we come together… we can do big things and do really well at the end of the season,” Glon said.