Stephanie Miller already has made a name for herself on the individual girls fencing circuit, but the Commack senior also is a team leader.
Miller had Suffolk’s best dual-meet record, went 35-2 last year while also winning gold in sabre at the Jeff Wolfe Holiday Tournament. A returning Suffolk champion, Miller is Commack’s captain who is receiving interest from Division I schools.
“She’s the first one at practice and the last one to leave,” coach Tony Musto said. “She’s hardworking and dedicated and truly wants her teammates to succeed.”
The landscape of Suffolk fencing has changed as teams will now compete in two leagues — Suffolk East and Suffolk West — according to location.
East is comprised of teams from Sayville, Brentwood, Newfield, Centereach and Ward Melville. The West will include Lindenhurst, Huntington, Whitman, Half Hollow Hills, and Commack. Teams will compete within the league in home and away contests and cross over once against each team in the other division.
Whitman, which beat Lindenhurst, 21-6, in its opening match on Dec. 4, will look to be a contender this season.
Ward Melville, led by Julia Duffy and Bridget Becchina in sabre and Kat Cao in epee, hopes to continue its storied success.
Newfield returns Ally Hu, a standout in foil who is off to a solid start this season, going 3-0 against Brentwood on Dec. 4.
In Nassau, Great Neck North is led by returning All-Long Island selection Shannon Sarker, who went 33-2 in dual meets last season on her way to winning the individual championship in sabre.
Katie Devereaux from Oyster Bay is a returning county finalist, excelling in epee and foil. Her strong event was foil, in which she posted a 29-2 record. Her teammate, Jodi Yeh, is a three-year captain coming off a 29-0 junior season.
Tia Petrides from Garden City will be looking to continue her dominance in Nassau. The senior is a returning All-Long Island selection, going 34-3 in dual meets on her way to winning her second consecutive county title in foil.
Last season, Petrides and Devereaux faced off in foil for the county title, with Petrides winning 15-9. A repeat matchup could be in the making.