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Long Island Fencing Championship preview
Antipas vs. Horiuchi. Shu vs. Reina. Charpin vs. Gallant.
The 2014 Long Island Fencing Championships will have no shortage of marquee matchups.
Of the 12 individual medalists on Long Island this season, five will be fencing Tuesday at Wheatley when Ward Melville takes on Great Neck South for the boys championship, and Garden City meets Ward Melville for the girls title.
Both matchups feature a rematch of last season’s LIC, where the Ward Melville girls won their 11th straight Long Island title, and the boys won the event for the sixth consecutive season.
Ward Melville’s girls come into the match on a 188-match winning streak and the boys have a 108-match winning streak.
On the boys side, Ward Melville boasts a nearly unstoppable duo in foil, featuring junior Mike Antipas, the two-time defending Suffolk county individual champion, and senior Devin Reina, who won individual bronze Saturday.
Antipas and Reina are both national-ranked by the United States Fencing Association, and have only one loss between them. Antipas completed his second-straight undefeated regular season this year.
Taking down Antipas and Reina will be no easy task, but if there is any team in Nassau who is up to it, it is Great Neck South, who will be looking to be the first team from Nassau to win a Long Island fencing championship.
GNS junior Kody Horiuchi won individual gold at both the Nassau County championships and Brentwood Holiday Tournament this season, and teammate Andy Shu was a semifinalist at both events. Both fencers have a national rating from the USFA.
Though Ward Melville has talent in epee, and includes nationally-rated senior Tyler La Tourrette who was a finalist at the Suffolk individuals, this is an area Great Neck South can take advantage of.
Skyler Chin will be crucial here. The nationally-ranked junior won individual gold at both the county tournament and Brentwood tournament.
Chin’s teammate Alex Hall won silver at counties and Andy Shu was a semifinalist at Brentwood and has a national rating.
In sabre, Great Neck South’s duo of Brian Lee and Pietro Pecora will have their work cut out for them against a Ward Melville sabre squad that features Robert Kent, Danny Solomon and Manny Thomas.
On the girls end, Garden City features two-time county champion Caitlin Gallant.
In her four-year career, Gallant has established herself as one of the strongest girls fencers on Long Island and will be joined in sabre by Kathleen DeMaria.
Unfortunately for Gallant and DeMaria, they will have to go up against Ward Melville sabre, which might be the toughest girls weapon unit on Long Island.
Senior Kacy Charpin and juniors Ilana Solomon and Carly Weber-Levine are all nationally-ranked, and are coming off a dominant performance at the Suffolk team championships.
The trio combined to go 21-0 on Saturday, outscoring opponents by 105 touches-to-13 (a +92 touch differential).
Charpin also won gold in the individual tournament.
The nationally-rated pair of Melanie Holl and Arianna Ferretti will lead Ward Melville’s epee squad against Garden City’s Michaela Smith, Bridget Strysko and Dessie DiMino.
In foil, nationally-rated fencer Lara Obedin and 2013 county champion Angela Zhang lead Ward Melville against Garden City’s Kathryn Tomasi and Emily Sallon.