NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — The young West Essex girls fencing team is still learning its craft after a tough 15-12 loss to an experienced Livingston team drops the squad to 2-3 while Livingston’s record improves to 5-3.

“[Livingston] is a very good team, they are in a much higher league than us,” said West Essex head coach Mark Trudmos.

The Lancers showed why they are a powerhouse in the sport, dominating the sabre weapon by a score of 8-1. Amanda Manubag, who went 3-0 and outscored her opponents 15-6, led Livingston’s group of sabre specialists to give Livingston the lead.

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“[Manubag] is a regional fencer who fences on the outside and has the experience to know what to do on the strip,” said Livingston head coach George Janto.

“I have one weapon weakness [and] it’s sabre,” said Trudmos. “I only have three girls that [use] sabre…I was happy that one of my girls won a match.”

West Essex rebounded with an impressive effort from its epee group of specialists, who went 6-3 on the night. Junior Leigha Capra led the way for the Knights, going an undefeated 3-0 and allowing only four points against her. Capra is finding her rhythm, having lost only one of her last nine matches.

“I’ve been working real hard this year,” said Capra of her focus this season. “I’m looking forward to Santellis on Saturday and I’m looking forward to the team doing well. And, personally, I have some goals I’m trying to reach.”

Ultimately, the contest came down to the foil where the depth of the Livingston squad was evident—going 5-4 for the grouping.

Evie Klien shined for West Essex, keeping the contest close by going 2-1 for the evening. But, ultimately, one individual was not enough for the Lady Knights victory.

“I have three girls that have to win all their matches and [Klien] was one of them,” said Trudmos. “Unfortunately today she won two and you can see the differences in the score.”

The Lancers will look to continue their impressive performance as the Santellis Tournament approaches this weekend.

West Essex’s loss, on the other hand, drops the group to 2-3, as the Knights have hit a rut and dropped their last two matches. The Lady Knights will also look toward Santellis in an effort to make a mark on the state’s growing fencing scene.