CEDAR GROVE, NJ - The Governor Livingston Girls Fencing team defeated Montclair Kimberley Academy on January 17 by a score of 22-5 at the Lilov Fencing Academy in Cedar Grove. GL’s success was made possible through the combined efforts of veteran fencers and underclassmen.
The meet started off strong with the first round of sabre bouts, in which Heather Januzzi, Sarah Comerford, and Tamar Novik each won their bouts. The foil fencers, Madison Fong, Julia Shea, and Gia LaSalle, had similar successes, as they won all of their first round bouts as well. GL suffered its first loss in the last epee in the first round. Junior fencer Emily Berkow stayed close to MKA’s Ramsay throughout, with the final score being 5-4, giving MKA their first win.
In the second round of the meet, junior Michelle Hom was put in for Januzzi in the second sabre round. She struggled at the start, giving up four touches, including one awarded to MKA’s Nerahoo when Hom went off the back of the strip. The bout score was 5-1 giving MKA’s its second win.
In the second epee round, Victoria Beke won GL’s fourteenth bout, clinching the meet. Beke was very proud to clinch the meet for the team, ensuring GL’s victory. She was also impressed by the performance of the other fencers. “While the meet against Montclair Kimberley was not especially challenging, the team did have a chance to allow many subs to fence. It is amazing to see the potential of our underclassmen, not just the skill of the upperclassmen.”
As the foils and epees fenced their second rounds, Hom practiced on an empty strip with the head coach Michael Wang and sophomore Cierra Blair. This extra practice time paid off in the third and final round, as Hom and MKA’s Williams fenced an intense bout, which Hom ultimately won 5-4. “I was definitely nervous going into the bout,” Hom reflected, “but knowing that my team was there too support me made me believe in myself. Winning the bout made me so happy since [they were] there to congratulate me afterwards.”
The final scores for each weapon were 8-1 for sabre, 6-3 for foil, and 8-1 for epee. In addition, one fencer of each weapon went undefeated for the meet, as Novik, Shea, and Beke won all three of their bouts.
Editor's Note: The Highlander is the student newspaper of Gov. Livingston High School featuring articles written by staff and guest writers covering a variety of topics of interest to the students.