MACFA Championships 2020 Recap

Last weekend, the William & Mary men’s fencing team traveled to Drew University for MACFA Championships.  As a 3-weapon team, W&M finished 10th.  At the end of the event, the coaches from the other schools presented William & Mary with the team sportsmanship award.  Ironically, last year’s recipients failed to bring it to the tournament.  Nonetheless, our team was honored to receive the award.  Here are the results for each individual squad.


After their outing at MACFA BvC, Michael Zessin ’23, Matthew Dreher ’20, and Nickolas Boylan ’22 returned to New Jersey to take on opponents at MACFA Championships.  Michael fenced C strip and caught many opponents off-guard with his decisive bladework.  He improved throughout the day and had great success with his aggressive searches.  As B strip, Matthew used his long reach and quick footwork to catch his opponents.  After falling behind 0-4 against Army, Matthew launched 5 aggressive attacks, each slightly longer than the last, to complete his comeback victory.  Matthew fenced at every MACFA event this year and managed to make connections with fencers from many other schools.  A strip Nicko took 9th place among A strip fencers and managed to go toe to toe with numerous varsity opponents.  Steven Pressendo ’20 was unable to fence but provided vital strip coaching to our fencers pointing out weakness in opponents and helping our fencers to correct theirs.  Saber squad would also like to thank our alumni for their support and advice, which mean a lot to all members of the squad.  Men’s saber took 10th overall and is excited for the Virginia Cup!


Ben Witman ’20, Winston Palmer ’23, and Greg Quigg ’21 competed as épée squad for this tournament.  Ben started out the day off right, earning his first varsity win as an epeeist in priority against Yeshiva.  Ben used his parries to clear his opponents’ blades and score impressive touches against many varsity fencers.  Winston used his well-timed counterattacks and aggressive fencing style to his advantage at his first ever MACFA Championship, racking up another varsity win against Hunter College.  Greg used his explosive advance lunge to his advantage to get back-to-back wins against both Navy and Army’s A strips.  Overall, men’s épée had a solid performance at MACFA Championships, and are looking forward to fencing in the Virginia Cup!


Men’s foil put on a great performance at MACFA Championships, finishing 8th out of 15 total schools, placing them above several varsity schools.  Matthew Cusick ’20, Stuart Thomas ’21, and Faisal Al-Alami ’20 all fenced well and even going undefeated against schools like Army and Yeshiva.  They earned solid individual wins against varsity opponents, a sign of their continued improvement.  Overall, Men’s foil is looking strong heading into their next competition.


Victories over Varsity Fencers:

MS: Matthew Dreher, Nicko Boylan

MF: Matt Cusick, Faisal Al-Alami, Stuart Thomas

ME: Ben Witman, Winston Palmer


This was our final event of the year where our team will compete against varsity opponents.  Throughout the season, 23 different W&M fencers earned victories over varsity fencers, including 7 fencers who earned their first.  For the full list of W&M victories over varsity fencers since 2012, click here.


Our team will next compete on March 21 and 22, when we host the Virginia Cup and look to defend our state title.  We will hold the tournament in Adair gym, with men fencing on Saturday and women fencing on Sunday.  For more details, see our Facebook event or email