The Sacred Heart men’s and women’s fencing teams started their season earlier this month. On Nov. 20, both teams competed at the first Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) meet of the year with the men’s team having a record of 4-2 and the women’s team going 1-5.
The previous week, both squads competed at the Vassar Invitational with the men taking seven wins and just one loss while the women took a 3-5 record on the day.
“This year the men’s team is very even,” said Head Coach Yury Molchan. “I’ve been waiting for years, because usually there are spots that are weak but now we have a full squad.”
The men’s team has acquired several recruits with nationally recognized accomplishments and have utilized them in the past competitions.
Freshman Connor Kravit is among these recruits, going 8-6 on the strip at the NFC meet and went 14-7 in the eppe at the Vassar invitational.
As a two-time National Junior Top 16 and a top 16 in the National Division I in 2020, Kravit brings quite a few of his accolades to the team.
“I think that I can bring a good feeling to the team,” said Kravit. “I like to get in the moment and hype everybody up, and I think it makes a better team.”
Another asset of the men’s team is Senior Cameron Silver who ended last season as an All-American at the Division I level.
Silver had also attained a bronze medal at the 2021 USA Fencing National Championships Senior Men’s Epee during the 2020-2021 season.
“Cam puts in a lot of work,” said Kravit. “Anytime I’m slacking or not doing everything I can be doing, he always pushes me to do more.”
For the women’s team, despite their losing record, they have several athletes themselves with accolades that even stretch to the Olympic level.
Junior Sophie Witek has competed for the Pioneers all three of her years in Fairfield, and had managed to win a Junior Olympic Title her freshman year.
“The Olympic level is a lot different than college,” said Witek. “In college it’s all team based and at the Olympics it’s individual.”
Witek achieved Northeast Fencing Conference Academic All-Conference last season as well as placing 12th at the April North American Cup in Fort Worth, Texas.
Other than cross country and track, fencing is the only sport at Sacred Heart University that allows training to be co-ed.
“Training (with the men) definitely gives a diverse fencing style,” said Witek. “Men fence very differently than women, so it gives us a broad spectrum of who we can encounter on the strip.”
For their next competition, both teams will be competing at a dual meet hosted here at Sacred Heart University on Dec. 5. After the dual, the Pioneers will hit the road for meets against The University of Pennsylvania on Jan. 22 and Yale University on Jan. 30.
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.