Ward Melville girls and boys teams continue tradition, repeat as LI champs
When talking about Long Island fencing, those words symbolize tradition, consistency and winning.
Lots of winning.
Ward Melville continued its winning ways Tuesday, as the girls won their 11th straight Long Island championship with a 14-3 win over Garden City. The boys made it six titles in a row with a 14-2 win over Great Neck South.
"It's nice that all our hard work over the years has paid off," said senior sabre Alexa Antipas, who went 2-0. "We finished the season strong, and that's all we hope for."
Senior sabre Travis Quinn said, "It's great to keep this tradition and legacy going. The guys coming up next year are excited to be stepping into the history of Ward Melville fencing and they have a good opportunity to keep these streaks going."
The girls team earned the program's 174th straight win, giving them the second-longest winning streak in Long Island sports history. For the boys, it is their 94th straight win over the past six years.
"We start from the bottom up so that the next generation is always prepared to be successful," boys coach Jeff Salmon said. "We try to give our younger fencers as many opportunities to compete so that when they get on that strip, they will be successful."
Junior epee Tyler LaTourette won the meet-clinching bout, 5-4. The boys sabre team of Quinn, Robert Kent and Emmanuel Thomas, and the foil team of Michael Antipas, Devon Reina and Matt Petrie, did not lose a match.
On the girls side, junior epee Melanie Holl won the meet-clinching bout, 5-2. The foil team of Angela Zhang, Rowan St. Clair and Kyra Durko went undefeated on the day.
With another title comes more pressure, but girls coach Jennie Salmon said, "We just keep working hard and stay focused on the job in front of us. We really don't talk about Long Island championships at the beginning of the season."