The girls' and boys' fencing team defeated Pingry 17-10 on February 12 with a victory that proves the Knights' strength and perseverance, even with reduced squad numbers and pandemic precautions.
"The fact that we compete with a team like Pingry shows how far our program has progressed," said Athletic Director Will Taylor. "Our team also played hard recently against two state powerhouses, Montgomery and Voorhees. These competitions were very close. We have a tough team, and it will be a competitive season for our Knights."
Head Fencing Coach Stephen Olson is proud of his players for their work ethic and dedication in the face of unforeseen adversity.
"It has been tough with COVID," said Coach Olson. "Gill had its opening week, and all practices and meets were canceled with our Upper School going virtual. Even though we totally missed the first week of the season, our fencers jumped right into meets and competitions."
Since before the pandemic, Coach Olson's squad has struggled with numbers. The girls' team only fields eight fencers, with nine being a full squad, which typically sets the Knights off to a disadvantage at meets. Despite this, the Knights prevailed.
"Pingry always ranks high and has a strong team, so this was a big win," said Coach Olson. "Our fencers are dedicated, and it was great to get an opportunity to show off our skills and hard work."
This season, standout fencers include Senior Caroline Solondz '21 (sabre), who is approaching her 100th dual-meet win, Zoe O’Connor '21 (epee), and Grace Crimi '23 (sabre), who started fencing last year with no prior experience to become a strong force for the Knights.