Chloe Gullo of Commack competes in a sabre match at...

Chloe Gullo of Commack competes in a sabre match at the Suffolk girls fencing team championships between Newfield and host Commack on Thursday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The 2022 Suffolk girls team fencing championship came down to a paper-thin difference of one win between Commack and Newfield. Commack owned that extra win, and the Cougars went on to claim the program’s first Long Island championship.

A year later, here were the same two schools vying for the top prize in the county Thursday night at Commack. And here they were tied with seven wins apiece.

But the Cougars won every bout thereafter. Sophomore Chloe Gullo took her third sabre match in three tries to end it.

Commack repeated with a 14-7 victory.

Next comes a trip to Cold Spring Harbor for the Long Island championship Tuesday night at 6 vs. the winner from Friday night’s Nassau title round.

“I’m super excited about it,” Gullo said about taking the county title again. “I can’t wait to go on to Long Island. I think we’ll do really well because we have really great energy and we’re like a family.”

The Cougars, who were 11-2 in the regular season and tied for the Suffolk I title, had graduated All-Long Island foil fencer Melina Nicou and lost two other starters from their title team. But six starters returned, including another All-Long Island foil fencer, junior Anna Rohring, Suffolk’s defending champ in the discipline.

Rohring went 31-2 during this regular season. Coach Jaclyn Sadiker had three other returning standouts in Gullo (30-4), senior Angela Won (26-8) in foil and sophomore Nisa Eriskin (28-4) in epee.

“They were super important last year and they definitely stepped up to fill the hole of losing Melina,” Sadiker said.

Newfield, which went 12-1 in the regular season and won Suffolk II, tied it at 7-7.

Then Rohring gave Commack the lead for good with a 5-4 win. Gabrielle Phelan followed with another 5-4 win in epee.

“We beat ourselves,” Newfield coach Jessica Palmaccio said.

Gullo finished it off with a 5-3 victory.

The defining element for this team?

Easy. It’s the bond.

“They genuinely love being together and they love helping each other out,” Sadiker said. “I’ve never met a group of girls who support each other more on and off the strip.”

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