The William and Mary team headed up to Johns Hopkins to take on the second MACFA of the season. Competition was tough but every squad fenced valiantly and several new faces made their competitive debut with the team.


  • First victories over varsity fencers: Jonathan Griggs ’21, Morgan Blackwelder ’21, Matt Cusick ’20, Daniel Bachman ‘20, and Julie Vu ’20
  • Other victories over varsity fencers: Nikki Petzer ’19, Pulak Raj ’20, Eric Alpert ’18, Robert Catlett ’18, Nathan Robichaud ’18, Gabriella Carney ’18, and Cecilia Hoover ’18

Men’s Saber: Eric Alpert led the charge this week with Robert Catlett and first-time MACFA fencer Daniel Bachman close behind. Nothing stopped the trio from pushing themselves to adapt against new fencers throughout the day, proving that quick thinking and constantly learning pays dividends at the end of bouts. Eric stood tall and won a number of bouts against talented opponents with a variety of actions that kept opponents guessing. Robert’s long lunges and quick feet keep his opponents exactly where he needed them so that he could score touch after touch. Daniel, despite a tough fall early in the day, rallied and learned to trust his parries to carry him through bouts even against the fastest of opponents.

Women’s Saber: All three teammates, Gabriella Carney, Riley Aiken, and Mary McCants, beautifully demonstrated the result of hard-work and determination from practice in each MACFA bout.  Mary won her first bout against Navy in her very first tournament.  Throughout the day, she acquired many touches with aggressive but patient long attacks and deep lunges.  Riley performed very well with quality parries and ripostes along with on point remises, that especially caught TCNJ off-guard.  Gabriella is proud to have won all three bouts against Navy, but she is even prouder of her teammates’ progress throughout the day.  The three fencers returned to Williamsburg stronger than ever.

Men’s Epee: Men’s epee had a great all-around performance. Pulak Raj led Nathan Robichaud, John Griggs, and Greg Quigg, John and Greg making their MACFA debuts in a big fashion. They had a rough start but finished strong with a perfect 9-0 victory over Lafayette, John and Pulak even defeating opponents 5-0. John used a combination of counter attacks and long attacks to take down his opponents while Greg used his defensive arsenal to prevent opponents from scoring on him. Nathan’s opponents could not dodge his wrist attacks while Pulak closed out his bouts with foot touches.

Women’s Epee: Last weekend, Nikki Petzer, Morgan Blackwelder, and Cecilia Hoover, came to MACFA looking to take names. Defeating 3 out of 4 schools, women’s epee proved once again that William and Mary is a force to be reckoned with. Nikki, ever slow and steady, used her lefty tricks to pick off the wrists of her opponents, and won key bouts against Johns Hopkins and TCNJ. Morgan, using her patience to outwit her opponents, handily beat the TCNJ captain, and kept her head about her against much more aggressive fencers. Cecilia finished out the day by winning a bout with three foot touches, ending the day undefeated. Women’s epee is looking forward to take more names in the upcoming semester!

Men’s Foil: Matt Cusick brought Ben Clark and Ben Witman to the first MACFA event of the semester. Every school was contentious but the guys fenced well even against more experienced teams, winning bouts from every school through hard work and clean actions. They each learned valuable lessons from their bouts, and even implemented what they had learned in later bouts to great success. Matt Cusick defeated the captains of Cornell and TCNJ. This MACFA was difficult, but it left the squad with plenty of knowledge about how to improve in time for MACFA Champs.

Women’s Foil: Women’s foil came up against some real challenges at last weekend’s tournament, but each girl found something to take away from each bout, and the squad refused to be discouraged or intimidated by the stiff competition. Jennifer Chen ’21 scored impressive touches against her opponents with the excellent distance and clean bladework. Julie Vu ’20 showed just how much she has improved her offensive game over the last months, furiously pushing her varsity opponents down the strip. Her excellent fencing won the squad an important bout against Drew. Elizabeth Sutterlin ’20 had a number of contentious bouts, using her sense of timing to score touches on varsity women with height advantages. Her focus on improving the mental game of her fencing culminated in a huge win against TCNJ in the final round. At the end of the day, women’s foil emerged proud of the effort they put in, and determined to train even harder in preparation for our tournaments later this semester.