Ward Melville Girls’ Fencing Defeats Half Hollow Hills

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Elizabeth Wang, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, December 13th, the Ward Melville Girls’ Fencing Team claimed an astounding victory against long-term rival Half Hollow Hills. The meet ended with a close score of 14 to 13.

Half Hollow Hills was ranked number one out of all the teams in the local Fencing division. Since the very beginning, the Patriots knew that it would be a tough meet. After a forty-minute bus ride to Half Hollow Hills High School, the 5:30 war between the rivals began.

“We lost to them last year, so this year we just really wanted to prove ourselves,” explains sophomore saber-fencer Olivia Calise. “We hoped to shut them down at the very beginning.” And that is exactly what the Ward Melville fencers did — sort of.

High school fencing meets consist of three rounds of three “bouts” (the word for when one fencer fences another; in a bout, the fencers fence to 5 points) per weapon. The weapon types are saber, foil, and epee. In other words, three saber bouts would take place, then three foil bouts, and then three epee bouts. This cycle would take place three times over the course of the meet, for a total of 27 bouts in the meet altogether. The first team to win 14 bouts wins the meet.

After the first round, the Ward Melville fencers were leading. Half Hollow Hills appeared to lose their momentum, and the meet looked promising for the Patriots. However, the tide turned quickly in the second half of the second round. Half Hollow Hills experienced a streak of several wins, which continued into the third round.

After the last three foil bouts of the third round, to meet was coming to a close. Half Hollow Hills was winning 13 to 11. All Hills needed was one more victory to win the meet, and only the three epee bouts were left. The Patriots could not allow a single loss.

The first epee bout was close. The Half Hollow Hills fencer gained the first point. Patriot sophomore Cat Cao, however, did not give up. She retaliated with a stream of well-executed offensive tactics and claimed a 5 to 4 victory, bringing the overall team score to 12.

The next bout was even closer. Time ran out in junior Julia Duffy’s bout with a score of 2 to 2. The two fencers went into “sudden death;” the next point would win the bout. Julia Duffy remained calm and ended the bout with a win of 3 to 2. The overall meet score was now tied at 13 to 13.

The fate of the meet now lay on senior Arianna Ferretti’s shoulders. If the Patriots were nervous, they did not need to be. Arianna sealed the meet by winning her bout with a score of 5 to 3. Ward Melville Girls fencing had defeated Half Hollow Hills 14 to 13.

Yet the season does not end here. With Half Hollow Hills knocked out of the number one spot, Ward Melville is now the team to beat. Can the Patriots stay on top? Only time will tell.