By Dhameer Bradley
The fencing team, which is comprised of 12 males and 11 females, recently said goodbye to their former coach, Thomas Vrabel, following his retirement in June.
However, the team is very excited to see what their new coach, Yury Molchan, has in store for the 2014- 15 NCAA champions.
“Knowledge and experience is what Molchan adds to the table,” said senior Julia Greene.
Greene described her new coach as someone who is “quiet, yet serious and brings a completely different atmosphere from last year.”
One of the biggest changes from last season to this season is the amount of individual lesson time each senior is receiving from Molchan. The seniors on the team receive fencing lessons once a week.
“The lessons are very helpful and we learn new skills,” said Greene. “Less free fencing and more drills on technique was something that is very different from last year.”
Greene finished twenty-first in the NCAA championship last year and is bringing that experience and knowledge to the team this year.
Junior Danny Marchelitis discussed the differences he noticed during practices so far that now includes “conditioning, more drills and less free fencing.”
The arrival of Molchan has completely changed the dynamic of the fencing team, providing a much more focused attention to each fencer individually.
“It’s a completely different and new atmosphere from last year,” said Marchelitis.
Coach Molchan talked about his past experiences before coming to Sacred Heart University.
Previously, Molchan was at Ohio State University where he spent four seasons as an assistant coach. Ohio State finished first place in the NCAA Championships in 2012 and came in fourth place in 2013 and 2014.
“The experience at Ohio State was golden,” said Molchan.
He said as head coach he will bring the techniques and NCAA experience to Sacred Heart.
Molchan is looking towards a promising future for the fencing program at Sacred Heart. He envisions major success for players on this team.
“Five NCAA qualifiers for this upcoming season is a major goal,” said Molchan.
One of the team’s most important meets is on Dec. 4 when Sacred Heart hosts the “Tradition Tournament,” which includes schools such as Harvard, Penn State and NYU.
The fencing team will play in the first match on Nov. 7 in the BIG ONE tournament at Smith College in Northampton, Mass.