Fencing no longer undefeated

    After rolling through the competition during the first half of the season, the UCSD fencing team finally hit a bump in the road during a difficult road trip last weekend.

    The team traveled to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., to face some of the top teams in the nation. The teams the Tritons faced included Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke and host Air Force, resulting in tough losses and tarnishing the Tritons’ previously undefeated 7-0 record.

    “”This weekend was a real challenge,”” said head coach Stuart Lee. “”Four of the teams we faced were ranked in the top 10 nationally and all compete at the Division I level.””

    The women’s team finished the weekend with a hard-earned 2-3 record. It brought home victories against Duke 15-12 and Stanford 16-11 — but fell to Northwestern 8-19, Notre Dame 9-18, and Air Force 11-16.

    Nadini Pillai, currently ranked first in the Intercollegiate Fencing Conference of Southern California in foil competition, did not travel with the team due to illness. This left it up to the other Tritons to pick up the slack.

    Leading the way was epee standout Raelyn Jacobsen, who dominated her competition with a 12-3 individual record. Keeley Vega followed suit in the foil competition with a strong 9-6 record. Other solid contributors included epee fencers Christine Megowan and Josephine Roberts with eight and six wins, respectively.

    The Triton men did not fare as well as their female counterparts, suffering losses against all the teams they faced. Their matches showed the team’s inability to compete at the same level as schools that offer major fencing scholarships. Other losses included mismatches against Duke 7-20, Northwestern 4-23, Stanford 3-24, and Notre Dame 2-25.

    With their next match taking place Feb. 9 at UC Santa Barbara, Lee and his team look to return to the dominant level of play they displayed previously this year. The team has become a powerhouse in its region with the men aiming for a third consecutive conference title and the women looking to regain the glory they had in 2000 with another championship.

    As the second half of league competition rapidly approaches, the Tritons hope to once again sweep the competition the way they did earlier this season.

    “”I’m confident we’ll win all of our remaining conference matches,”” Lee said. “”Though we had a tough weekend, I feel that we are on the verge of competing at the national level for the first time in school history.””

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