Last weekend, our team drove to Drew University for MACFA AvC, the first tournament of the spring semester!


MACFA AvC was an exciting tournament that pushed the limits of every men’s epee fencer. It was a day of unpredictable bouts for Greg Quigg ’21, coming back from two 4-2 deficits to win, picking up his first varsity victory.  Ben Coleman ’19 scored many points with his patented wrist picks and picked his opponents apart with patient feints and disengages.  Pulak Raj ’20 crushed his opponents with his strong parry-ripostes with many key victories over varsity fencers.  Overall, men’s epee learned a lot from MACFA AvC and is ready to practice and improve for their next competition.

William & Mary boasted two veteran women’s epeeists, Charlotte Engel ’19 and Nikki Petzer ’19 at MACFA AvC this past weekend. Resident saberist, Madeline Myers ’20 joined the squad, adapting her saber skills to excel in épée for the event.  Women’s épée made an impressive appearance, earning victories against four out of the five schools they fenced.  Notably, our squad soundly beat Drew’s and CCNY’s varsity teams with a score of 6-3 and 7-2, respectively.  Using her crafty blade work and keen ability to gauge distance, Charlotte decisively won bouts against three varsity fencers.  Likewise, Madeline made a dominating epee debut, utilizing her aggression and remarkable agility to beat three varsity fencers as well.  Nikki came away with six victories against varsity fencers, using her height and newfound aggression to fend off opponents and win bouts.


Men’s foil had a good showing at the most recent MACFA qualifier.  Representing men’s foil were Matt Cusick ’20, Ben Witman ’20, and Faisal Al-Alami ’20.  All three fencers faced fierce competition, but won many bouts nonetheless.  A particularly notable moment came when Ben beat one of Cornell’s fencers.  This was exciting because Cornell’s fencers are highly trained and have a great deal of experience. Men’s foil also had good showings against the other schools, especially Drew and TCNJ.  Foil’s performance at this most recent MACFA is an indicator that we will be ready to stand up to the challenge of the MACFA Championship.

Last weekend, W&M women’s foil was represented by Elizabeth Sutterlin ’20, Julie Vu ’20, and Julianne Cook ’21. The girls had a tough first round against Navy, but Julie earned two clutch victories, setting a great note for the rest of the day.  W&M beat TCNJ, and Elizabeth and Julie went on to each earn victories against Drew’s fencers later that morning.  Julianne usually fences saber, but she proved just how much her foil game had improved when she earned her first varsity victory in foil against CCNY!  She then handily took down another Drew girl later in the day, when W&M had the chance to fence their non-starting squads. Elizabeth’s favorite bout of the day was her 5-2 victory against a Hopkins fencer.  While they won’t be competing at MACFA BvC or the championships, women’s foil is hungry for more competition, and will be eagerly training hard in preparation for Virginia Cup next month.


Last weekend, Daniel Bachman ’19 and Steven Pressendo ’20 joined with foilist Matt Dreher ’19 to put on a strong performance at Drew.  Daniel’s trademark aggression carried him to victories up and down the strip.  He combined his aggressive starts with patient marches that overwhelmed opponents.  When his opponents futilely tried to counterattack, Daniel showcased his adaptability by sealing bouts with beautiful counter-ripostes.  Matt opened the tournament on a high note, with unconventional counterattacks that foiled the attacks of Lafayette’s top fencer.  His fencing improved drastically throughout the day, leading to respectable showings and even a victory in his first saber tournament.  Coming into the event, Steven had beaten fencers from every MACFA school except for Drew.  On Sunday, that changed.  He emerged with a 5-1 record against the host school, highlighted by a decisive win over Drew’s top fencer and a 5-0 score in the final bout of the day.

Women’s saber brought it to MACFA AvC!  Chrysanthi Stevens ’19 fenced smart.  Against aggressive women squads, her favorite move was to make her opponent fall short.  She maintained high spirits throughout the entire tournament and ended the day winning the last bout against a Drew fencer 5-4.  Riley Aiken ’20 was incredibly dynamic and aggressive.  Her fast attacks and parries caught her opponents off guard. The highlight of her day was winning a bout 5-4 against a varsity fencer from Johns Hopkins.  Mary McCants ’21 confidently read her opponents in every one of her bouts.  She scored some amazing counter attacks, feints, and pulls.  Moreover, she masterfully implemented her teammates advice.  Women’s saber preformed incredibly well, and more importantly, had a great time.

Thanks again to our alumni, current fencers, and families who came to cheer us on last weekend!

Victories against Varisty Fencers:

  • MS: Steven Pressendo, Daniel Bachman
  • MF: Matt Cusick, Faisal Alami
  • ME: Ben Coleman, Pulak Raj, Greg Quigg (first)
  • WS: Mary McCants, Riley Aiken (first), Chrysanthi Stevens
  • WF: Elizabeth Sutterlin, Julie Vu, Julianne Cook (first)
  • WE: Charlotte Engel (first), Madeline Myers, Nikki Petzer