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Lewis leads Half Hollow Hills

Half Hollow Hills fencer Amanda Lewis competes in

Half Hollow Hills fencer Amanda Lewis competes in girls foil championship at the Brentwood Holiday Tournament. (Dec. 14, 2013) (Credit: Steven Ryan)

Amanda Lewis has established herself as one of the top foil fencers in Suffolk County and will be looking to cap both a strong season and strong career at Saturday’s county championships.

Lewis came into the day with a 34-4 record (winning 89% of her bouts), went undefeated in nine different meets and won gold in foil at December’s Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament at Brentwood. The senior has also provided valuable leadership for the Half Hollow Hills girls team (10-4), which heads into the county tournament as the three-seed.

Half Hollow Hills coach Dennis Daly said Lewis, who is finishing her fourth season on varsity and second year as captain, has “developed into a very aggressive, technical fencer.” Daly adds Lewis is “one feisty competitor.”

In a testament to this competiveness, Lewis thrived in arguably her toughest bouts of the season, going 5-1 against first-place Ward Melville this year.

She has also earned a national-rating from the United States Fencing Association.

Daly says Lewis embodies the team’s core values, which he says are “training, mentoring and tutoring.” The coach said his captain has a “strong connection” with the entire team, not just the foil fencers, and is constantly running drills in practice and helping teammates.

Fellow senior Alana Kessler joins Lewis on a foil team that won bronze at January’s Huntington Relay. Daly says Kessler is also a team leader, but while Lewis has more of an intense approach, Kessler serves a “nurturing” role. Lewis and Kessler complement each other well, the coach says.

Sophomore Tiffany Kim is the third starter in foil and finished in fifth at the Brentwood Holiday Tournament. Daly says Kim’s strength is her poise and focus.

“The world could be ending around [her],” Daly said, and she would be unshaken.

In epee, Half Hollow Hills is led by Sarah Im and Sabrina Kim. Their names are not the only two things that are similar.

Both are juniors and first-year captains, both finished six different matches undefeated this season, and both came into the day having won more than two-thirds of their bouts. Kim was 25-10 and Im was 22-11.

Im reached the semifinals at the Brentwood tournament and is a nationally-rated fencer.

Sophomore Connie He rounds out the epee unit.

Half Hollow Hills sabre is led by junior captain Jessica SooHoo, senior Devin Simpson and Brentwood semifinalist Anja Kenagy.

Gochman, Wells, Goldberg lead rebuilding boys team

Though Daly says the boys team lost talent to graduation and is finishing a “rebuilding” season, the squad still has a number of talented fencers and will head into counties as the five-seed.

Senior captain Sam Gochman is the leader of the foil team, and like Lewis, he helps young fencers and runs drills for the squad.

Gochman is 27-7 this season and has a national rating from the USFA.

Junior Charlie Wells is 26-4 in foil, giving Hills a strong duo in foil.

Jonathan Bae is the third starter in foil.

In sabre, junior captain Jack Goldberg is 30-9 and has earned a national rating. Daly says Golberg is “a leader beyond his years.”

Goldberg gets to display this leadership for young fencers in sabre, including Kenneth Meserole and Josh Zegans.

Justin Cho, Tyler Hecker and John Mallandrakis start in epee for Half Hollow Hills.

Tags: Half Hollow Hills , fencing , Amanda Lewis , Sam Gochman , Jack Goldberg , Sarah Im

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