MACFA C Round-Robin Recap

Our team traveled to Haverford College for the first MACFA tournament of the season!  At MACFA C Round Robin, our team faced varsity opponents from Johns Hopkins and Haverford in addition to Navy’s team.


Elizabeth Sutterlin ’20 and Julianne Cook ’21 formed a composite team with one girl from Johns Hopkins University to round out the Women’s Foil squad. No one would have guessed that Julianne was returning to competition after a hand injury earlier this semester—she earned a varsity victory against a Haverford fencer, and won another tough bout over one of Navy’s fencers. Elizabeth came into the tournament hungry to see the results of her fencing’s growth since last year, and her performance did not disappoint! Elizabeth swept the Haverford squad and only dropped one bout all day. She is already looking forward to facing Hopkins’ full squad and a rematch with Navy’s A-strip at the next MACFA event in the spring.

Men’s Foil, consisting of Matt Cusick ’20, Stuart Thomas ’21, and Faisal Al-Alami ’20 fenced well at MACFA C Round Robin, coming close to beating both Navy and Haverford.  With overall scores of 4-5 against both Navy and Haverford, the tournament was full of fierce bouts where even a single victory could determine the match.  From an individual perspective, every fencer won bouts and Matt came close to winning two bouts against Johns Hopkins, only losing both 4-5. Stuart won a close bout 5-4 against one of Navy’s fencers.  Faisal’s best result came in a 5-1 victory over one of Haverford’s fencers.  The squad’s strong showings give Men’s Foil great confidence moving into next semester’s qualifiers.


Women’s Epee brought a two-person squad comprised of Morgan Blackwelder ’21 and saber fencer Madeline Meyers ’20.  Our fencers formed a composite squad with a fencer from Johns Hopkins and set out against a tough roster of opponents.  Morgan used her patient style of fencing to bait and pick off opponents with her counterattacks.  Madeline called upon her saber experience to come out aggressively.  Her speed threw off her opponents and scored many a touch.  Overall, they fenced well and look forward to their next chance to compete.

On a breezy November weekend, Gregory Quigg ’21, Benjamin Witman ’20, and Winston Palmer ventured North to Haverford, PA for the MACFA C Round-Robin Event, ready for action. Greg used his long reach and even longer experience to stay calm, cool, and collected against strong varsity squads, netting several victories again varsity and club teams alike. Ben, fueled by love for the sport, used his patience and mental fortitude to outlast opponents and make them beg for every point. Winston laughed at opposing fencer’s preps and attacked without hesitation, netting himself a clean, first varsity victory over Haverford. Armed with knowledge and more experience, men’s epee returned to William & Mary ready to prepare for the Spring.


Women’s Saber enjoyed their first MACFA tournament of the year, fencing both Haverford and Navy.  Clara Magner ’23 showed great improvement through her effective parry ripostes.  She earned her first ever tournament win and her first win over a varsity opponent this weekend!  Mary McCants ’21 used quick extensions to catch her opponents off guard.  Riley Aiken ’20 also fenced well, relying on strong parry ripostes and marching her opponents down with powerful long attacks.  The squad looks forward to attending more MACFAs in the spring, and continuing to improve while having fun.

After a series of illnesses and injuries sidelined most of the men’s saber squad, foilists Zahl Azizi ‘22 and Matt Dreher ‘20 joined Nicko Boylan ‘22 for the first MACFA of the year.  Despite having little saber experience prior to the event, both foil fencers secured wins over varsity opponents and carried great attitudes throughout the day.  Matt opened the day against a strong opponent who had previously earned bronze in MACFA Championships. Despite losing the bout 4-5, Matt’s crafty parry ripostes showed the other schools that he would be no easy opponent.  In his next bout, Matt found himself down 1-3.  Undeterred, he came storming back with a sequence of long marching attacks that earned him his first win over a varsity saber fencer.  Zahl’s bouts against Haverford showcased his aggression.  His attacks into preparation intimidated his opponents, which set Zahl up to patiently push his opponents and earn his first varsity win!  Against Johns Hopkins, Zahl surprised his opponents with speedy parry ripostes.  After triumphing over varsity opponents from both Haverford and Johns Hopkins, Zahl cemented his status as a W&M saber fencer when he too had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury.  Nicko’s best fencing came when he took on Navy.  Inside the box, Nicko’s varied setups allowed him to sneak attacks into preparations from unsuspecting opponents.  On defense, Nicko showed great control over the touches.  After repeatedly scoring with his trademark counterattacks, Nicko switched to fake counterattacks, sealing the bouts with his strong parries.


Victories over varsity fencers

  • MS: Zahl Azizi (first), Matt Dreher
  • MF: Matt Cusick, Stuart Thomas, Faisal Alami
  • ME: Winston Palmer (first), Greg Quigg
  • WS: Clara Magner (first), Riley Aiken, Mary McCants
  • WE: Morgan Blackwelder
  • WF: Elizabeth Sutterlin, Julianne Cook