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Oyster Bay and Great Neck South meet in Nassau fencing clash

Great Neck South fencer Kody Horiuchi competes in

Great Neck South fencer Kody Horiuchi competes in boys foil. (Dec. 14, 2013) (Credit: Steven Ryan)

Oyster Bay and Great Neck South are no strangers to one another.

The two teams have met in the last three Nassau County boys fencing championships, with each match coming down to the final bout.

While Thursday’s match was not as close, it was still a competitive one, as Oyster Bay won 15-12.

Clinging to a 10-8 lead entering the third round, the Baymen (6-1) swept the final three sabre bouts before Berkeley Golon clinched the match in foil.

“I expected a close match,” said Oyster Bay coach John Bruckner, adding he was “pleasantly surprised” to clinch the match with five bouts to spare.

Bruckner said he knew victory was a possibility after Oyster Bay had won their tenth bout. “When you hit ten first, it’s an exciting spot to be at.”

The Baymen followed up their tenth victorious bout by taking all three sabre bouts in round three. The sweep capped off a strong night for Oyster Bay sabre, as Matt Mahoski went 3-0 and Jordan Ravins and Anant Mehrotra both went 2-1.

In the next bout, Golon defeated Kody Horiuchi, 5-2, in foil to secure the victory for Oyster Bay.

Andreas Tsoumpariotis also went 2-0 in epee for the Baymen.

For Great Neck South, the loss snapped an 18-match winning streak in Nassau County, which started after Oyster Bay beat the squad in the 2012 county championship.

That match marked the second-straight season Oyster Bay bested Great Neck South in the Nassau final, and both times, the match came down to the 27th and final bout.

Last season, Great Neck South reversed the script, winning the title itself by taking the last bout of the match.

Bruckner said his team was “absolutely” motivated to avenge that loss, and said his team’s win Thursday “was a feather back in our cap.”

He also added, though, that both teams represent the county well.

“Both teams show how strong fencing can be in Nassau County.”

Great Neck South coach Josh Baravarian said the loss will motivate his team, as it “lit a fire under my guys.”

Baravarian was without nationally-rated epee fencer Skyler Chin.

Horiuchi, Andy Shu and Jay Shah all went 2-1 for Great Neck South.

Lin, Song and Chang lead Great Neck South girls

As for the girls teams, though the score was the same as the boys’ match, the victor was different.

Great Neck South (5-1) topped Oyster Bay 15-12, and was led by 3-0 performances from Vera Lin, Lelina Chang, and Christine Song.

The trio’s performance looks even stronger after considering the caliber of the competition, with all three notching victories over a defending county champion.

Lin, who improved her personal record to 11-1 this season, defeated Grey Warwick-Clark in epee, while Song and Chang both won against Laura Broffman in sabre.

Warwick-Clark won the county epee title in 2013, while Broffman took gold in sabre.

In a rare off night for Oyster Bay’s two stars, Warwick-Clark also lost to Great Neck South freshman Macy Meung.

The match was tied 9-9 after the second round, but Great Neck South swept the final round of sabre bouts. After South went 1-2 in the last set of foil bouts, Lin pulled out a 5-2 victory in epee to clinch the match.

Baravarian said the victory over a tough opponent helped his girls “realize how talented they are and realize their potential.”

The coached added that “I know we’re one of the top teams in the county.” 

Tags: fencing , Oyster Bay , Great Neck South , Berkeley Golon , Matt Mahoski , Jordan Ravins , Anant Mehrotra , Kody Horiuchi , Andreas Tsoumpariotis , John Bruckner , Andy Shu , Jay Shah , Vera Lin , Lelina Chang , Christine Song , Grey Warwick-Clark , Laura Broffman , Macy Meung , Josh Baravarian

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