By Alice Roche Cody
Despite a rocky start due to COVID-19 and snowy weather, GSB fencing quickly got in gear to complete a competitive season.
"We had a pandemic pause at the beginning of our season, followed by a week of snow, where we lost three school days, starting the season a week and-a-half behind," said Head Fencing Coach Stephen Olson. "We had three meets a week, which is a lot, so there were many back-to-back late nights. It's a testament to our outstanding fencers, that they continued to show up and put forth their best efforts, day after day."
With eight female fencers on the girls' squad – one less than a full team – the Knights still proved a formidable force during their 10-match season. Senior stand-out Caroline Solondz '21 only lost one bout, logging an impressive 29-1 sabre record and hitting her 100th dual-meet win. Epee fencer Zoe O'Connor '21 ended with a winning 26-4 record. Two freshmen also had impressive showings: Whitney Lapper '24, a foil fencer with a 25-5 record, and Jeremiah Ng '24, a sabre fencer who ended 19-2.
Even though no state or private league tournaments happened this year, GSB competed in the Skyland Conference Tournament, giving the Knights three extra meets. "Our girls finished fifth in their bracket, which says a lot, since they don't have a full team," said Coach Olson. "It was very exciting, and I'm so proud of them."
Next season, Coach Olson hopes to attract new fencers because both the boys' and girls' squads will lose half of their players to graduation. He anticipates another successful run for the girls. "They are dedicated and put in the effort and time," he said. "A few girls started fencing outside of school, and it's looking like we'll have a strong season. It will be something to watch."