The Jericho boys fencing team came into Monday's match against Great Neck South looking to make a statement.
The Jayhawks did just that, winning, 14-13, and handing the two-time defending county champions their first loss of the season.
Joey Marriott went 3-0 in sabre and Christopher Xu went 2-1 in foil to lead Jericho over the visiting Rebels in a Nassau Conference I matchup. Kevin Le won the clinching bout in epee to give the Jayhawks a 14-11 lead. John Lam also went 2-1 in foil for Jericho (5-2).
Jericho avenged a loss to the Rebels earlier this season.
"Since we lost last time against Great Neck South, we were pumped up before the match began," Marriott said.
It showed, as the Jayhawks won the first five bouts of the match and led 6-3 after the first round.
"I think this win is going to be the first of many others in 2015," Marriott added.
"It's a big win for everyone on the team," Xu said. "South is one of the top contenders, so beating them is a huge confidence boost for us."
Said Jericho coach Seth Skolnick: "To be the best, you have to beat the best. Year after year, they've been one of the best teams, so obviously it feels good to beat them. It shows Jericho is a powerhouse in Nassau County.
"Our foil team as a whole was excellent," Skolnick added. "It has gone from a weakness [last season] to one of our strengths. I'm very proud of them for stepping up."
Kody Horiuchi and Skyler Chin both went 3-0 for Great Neck South (7-1) to continue their individual unbeaten seasons.
Luk, Rangel lead girls. Jericho's girls team also pulled out a big win, defeating Great Neck South, 16-11, in their Conference I match. Winnie Luk and Michelle Rangel both went 3-0 in sabre for the Jayhawks, who improved to 5-2.
It's almost like having six automatic wins every match, Jericho girls coach Craig Skolnick said of Luk and Rangel, who both improved their personal records to 20-3.
"I always just do the best I can and we're ready to keep going," Luk said.
Luk and Rangel said they were proud of their own personal progress and of the team. "I think today proved how we've all improved over the years," Rangel said.
Macy Meung went 3-0 and Vera Lin went 2-1 in epee for Great Neck South (4-4). Meung improved her personal record to 16-0, and Lin is 15-1.