The Columbia men’s and women’s fencing teams will face their toughest test of the season so far when they compete at the St. John’s Super Cup and the NYU Invitational this weekend.
When the teams travel to Queens on Saturday, they will face a quintet of top-10 ranked teams: St. John’s, Harvard, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Ohio State. The competition doesn’t get much easier as they head to Greenwich Village the following day to face another stacked lineup. The Lions will once again take on St. John’s, Ohio State, and Notre Dame, and they will compete against North Carolina, Northwestern, and Wayne State, as well.
The men’s squad, ranked No. 7 in the nation, has jumped out to a 6-1 start, while the women, ranked No. 3 in the country, have notched a perfect 7-0 record thus far.
Because of the high caliber of the competition the teams will face on the strip, this weekend’s meets will give Columbia fencing fans an opportunity to gauge the strength of this season’s squads.
“Both the men’s and women’s teams have a lot more depth than they did last year with the addition of all the freshmen,” men’s and women’s head fencing coach Michael Aufrichtig said. “It makes it a little more difficult to figure out who fences, but it’s a great problem to have.”
One area in which the freshmen have made a major difference is the women’s foil squad. This fall, it saw the addition of two talented freshmen, Margaret Lu and Jackie Dubrovich. Junior Nzingha Prescod, who took home a Division I title at a December North American Cup event in Milwaukee, also rejoined the team after representing the United States at the London Olympics.
“The freshmen have made the women’s foil squad much stronger,” Prescod said. “For the women’s team, it’s a big deal because we know that our squad can help make up bouts if we find ourselves down.”
Competition will begin at the Carnesecca Arena and Taffner Field House at 10 a.m. on Saturday and at the Jerome S. Coles Center at 8 a.m. on Sunday.