Last weekend, GW’s fencing team hosted its first tournament in eight years on George Washington’s Foggy Bottom Campus.
Six universities—including the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary—participated in foil, saber and epee in the South Atlantic Conference Fall Invitational at the Charles E. Smith Center. The GW Vibes, a student-run coed a cappella group, sung the National Anthem.
While the GW team did not finish the foil and epee events within the time limit, it defeated University of Pittsburgh and College of William and Mary women’s saber, placing fourth in the women’s event.
“Overall, GW performed much better at this tournament than when we traveled to United States Navy Academy for it last year,” said Katherine Tsiatas, the fencing team vice president and treasurer.
Now more than a decade old, the fencing team has 24 members who practice three times a week in the Lerner Health and Wellness Center. Ms. Tsiatas said the team was chosen to host the invitational this year due to their move into the South Atlantic Conference, a higher division than their previous conference, the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference.
Each of the three disciplines of fencing—foil, saber and epee—has different areas in which competitors are allowed to strike the opponent for a point, as well as rules for right of way. Different equipment is also required for each, including suspenders, jackets, masks, underarm guards and breast plate protectors for women. The team provides its members with the electrical equipment needed to compete, including body cords and mask cords.
The next few weeks are busy ones for the fencing team: They will compete in tournaments at the University of Maryland, Temple University and St. John’s College. Ms. Tsiatas said the future looks bright for the club team and she hopes for a strong performance at Nationals next spring.
“Based on the tournament on Sunday, I’m excited to see the continuing development of all our fencers,” she said. “I know we will be competitive in many categories at nationals, and I hope to see everyone succeed.”