Ward Melville fencing continues its dominance with two more LI titles
Goliath did it again. Twice.
Ward Melville's girls and boys fencing teams continued their dominance Tuesday night.
The girls won their 12th straight Long Island championship, defeating Garden City, 14-1, at Wheatley, while the boys took home the Long Island crown for the seventh consecutive season with a 14-7 win over Great Neck South.
The girls' victory marked both Ward Melville's 189th consecutive victory and the first Long Island title for first-year coach Aziza Hassan.
For the boys, the win was their 109th in a row.
Senior Kacy Charpin, and juniors Ilana Solomon and Carly Weber-Levine led the Patriots girls team and combined to go 6-0 in sabre.
Charpin, who won her fourth team title, said the feeling of winning never gets old.
"Each year it's a little bit more of a challenge," said Charpin, who also won individual gold in sabre at the Suffolk championships on Saturday. "Every year it's still exciting."
Ward Melville also got strong performances from Angela Zhang, Lara Obedin, and Kyra Durko, who combined to go 6-0 in foil.
On the team's winning streak, Hassan said she "definitely wanted to keep it going," and that winning the LI title and completing an undefeated season was a load off her shoulders.
On the boys end, throughout the Patriots' undefeated season, the foil pair of junior Mike Antipas and senior Devin Reina was the catalyst and that was also the case Tuesday night.
Antipas, the two-time defending Suffolk individual foil champion, capped off his second straight undefeated season by going 2-0. He finished 31-0 this season. Reina also went 2-0.
"It's really just an amazing experience being able to fence with this team, with such amazing coaches and amazing fencers," Reina said.
Reina's fellow senior teammate Manny Thomas also spoke of his pride in the team after his final varsity match. "It's incredible to be a part of this program," Thomas said. "It's a brotherhood in season and out of season."
Said Ward Melville coach Jeff Salmon, "I'm very proud of all the kids. They really came together as a team. This was probably one of my better group teams."
He added: "I've definitely had more talented teams," but said this group was special because of its ability to "come together."