Ward Melville regained the Suffolk regular season girls fencing crown Wednesday, clinching the top spot in a league it has dominated for much of its history.
The Patriots’ 14-year streak of first-place finishes in the regular season was snapped last season after Half Hollow Hills swept the season series, en route to becoming the first team other than Ward Melville to win the girls Long Island championship.
Perhaps it was fitting then, that the Patriots clinched the league by defeating Half Hollow Hills, winning 21-6 at home in a match that was more lopsided than previous meetings between the two teams. The 17-year-old program will fence for its 14th Long Island championship on Tuesday night at Whitman.
“This was a very different win from the last one we had against them earlier in the season,” Arianna Ferretti said, in reference to Ward Melville’s 14-13 victory over Half Hollow Hills in December. “It shows how much we’ve grown and really been able to adjust on the strip as the season went on.
Ferretti, who went 3-0 in epee, added, “It feels good to get that league title back.”
Lara Obedin, who went 2-1 in foil, said, “We definitely felt fired up because we knew today was super important and we knew we had to crush it.”
Added Valentina Zavala-Arbelaez, who picked up a third-round win in epee, “We knew our competition, and we executed like we did all year.”
Ward Melville (15-0) also benefited from strong performances from Lauren Capello and Bridget Becchina (both 3-0 in sabre), Julia Duffy (3-0 in epee) and Cat Cao (2-0 in epee). Grace Park went 3-0 in foil for Hills (13-3).
Patriots boys extend streak. On the boys’ strip, Ward Melville topped Half Hollow Hills, 18-9, to improve to 15-0 and extend its dual-meet winning streak to 156 matches.
“As a team, we got off to a really good start, going 7-2 in the first round, and we took it from there,” said Michael Schwartz, who went 3-0 in sabre.
Jack Rohan, who went 2-0 in sabre, added, “Every single meet, everyone is always upbeat and ready to go. Team chemistry is really our best asset.”
Schwartz and Rohan were joined in sabre by Danny Deto (2-1), while Ben Rogak went 3-0 in epee and Chris Ancona went 2-1 in foil for Ward Melville, which had already clinched a berth in the Long Island championship.
Gary Armyn (epee), Daniel Lee (foil) and Noah Im (foil) all went 2-1 for Hills (12-4).