Fencing hosts weekend tournament

The best fencers in the country
came to St. John’s on Sunday as
the University hosted the 2010
St. John’s Fencing Invitational.

The event featured top teams
from around the country including
Penn State, Notre Dame, Harvard,
Columbia and Ohio State. All of the
visiting teams are ranked in the
Top 10 in both the men’s and
women’s polls.

Led by freshman Evgeniya
Kirpicheva, the St. John’s women’s
team captured the Best Team Cup,
awarded to the winner of the
invitational. Kirpicheva won 13 of her
15 individual matches in the foil. As
a team, the Red Storm went 4-1,
defeating No. 4 Columbia (14-13),
No. 6 Ohio State (14-13), No. 1
Penn State (14-13) and No. 3
Harvard (19-8).

“Evgeniya was great, but a lot of
people fenced well today,” head
coach Yury Gelman said. “I was
very pleased with our performance.”
Junior Dagmara Wozniak and
senior Tanya Novakovska also
helped pace the Red Storm, compiling
12-3 records in their respective divisions.

The men’s team fi nished the
day 2-3, defeating Harvard and
Columbia. Sophomore Daryl Homer
led the eighth-ranked Johnnies, compiling
a 12-3 record in the sabre,
while fellow sophomore Marat
Israelian fi nished 11-4 to lead the
epee team.
“One of our strongest guys,
Alejandro Rojas, wasn’t able to go
today because he is returning from
[a competition in] Spain,” Gelman
said. “To do this well without him
shows how strong we are as a team.”
Top-ranked Penn State captured the
men’s title with a record of 4-1, losing only
to Notre Dame.
Gelman said the experience of
facing such stiff competition will
help his team as they prepare to
make a run for the national title.

“This was the six best teams in
the country here today,” Gelman said.

“This type of competition absolutely
helps us down the road in the NCAAs.”

The Red Storm were competing
on short rest after participating in the
NYU Invitational on Saturday.

Being able to compete at home in
front of family and friends helped to
re-energize some of the athletes.

“Being at home is great, we have
that advantage,” senior Alexis Ladreville
said. “We like having people come
to cheer for us, especially on the
second day like this. Everyone is
tired. It gives us that extra energy.”

The invitational also marked the
fi rst home match for Irina Koroleva.

The highly-regarded freshman came
to the United States on Monday from
her native Russia. Koroleva, who
played in her fi rst match for the Red
Storm on Saturday, said that her
nerves were the biggest issue coming
into today’s match.

“It’s hard for her right now but
she’ll do fi ne,” Gelman said. “She
was a little disappointed with her
performance but she did okay.”