By Samantha Meyer
After a very impressive fall season, the Cleveland State University men’s and women’s fencing teams battled their way into the new year. The men’s team finished their 2019 run 18-1 while the women’s team finished 16-3.
Cleveland State has had a successful 2020 thus far, traveling to the Detroit Mercy Invite, the Army Invitational and the Vassar Invitational. The men’s team finished 4-1 at the Detroit Mercy Invite, defeating the University of Detroit Mercy, Lawrence University, Michigan State University and Oakland University. Their first loss of the second semester season came from Wayne State University, who won 18-9.
The women’s fencing team did not have as much success as they competed against established and good teams. The women finished the tournament at 3-3 against their competition. They came out on top over the Titans, but later entered a losing streak after three straight losses against The Ohio State University, Lawrence and Wayne State. Fortunately, the three losses did not stop the women’s team as they went on to claim wins over Michigan State and Oakland.
Recently, the Vikings traveled to the University of Notre Dame’s Castellan Family Fencing Center to compete against seven other teams. The DeCicco Duals took place on Jan. 25. The two teams had a combined 11 wins, with the men going 6-1 for the day and the women winning 5 of 7 matches.
The men topped Lawrence (20-7), Northwestern University (24-3), the University of Florida (23-4), Detroit Mercy (25-2), Wayne State (16-11) and Denison University (21-6). Their only loss for the day came during the matchup against No. 2 Notre Dame, who defeated Cleveland State 25-2. Sophomore Declan Forth sees that the team is improving and that the increased competition has helped team moral.
“Improvements in our team’s conditioning and overall fitness were important factors that helped aid our success,” Forth said. “The team dynamic has shifted a lot this spring semester with increased levels of confidence as we compete more. We have implemented individual squad meetings during practice and at tournaments to help keep our energy and confidence high.”
The women’s team also had an excellent day at the DeCicco Duals, defeating Lawrence (15-11), Florida (20-7), Detroit Mercy (17-9), Wayne State (14-13) and Denison (14-13). Their only losses came from No. 9 Northwestern and No. 1 Notre Dame. With the results from the tournament, Forth gives credit to the momentum that the team had from prior wins.
“We had 11 wins at Notre Dame based off of a strong momentum coming in off of our back to back wins the weekends before,” Forth said. “We pulled off a strong victory over Lawrence in the morning, and that momentum carried us throughout the whole day.”
The team only has one more dual before the Midwest Conference Championship at the conclusion of February. On Feb. 1, the team participated in Northwestern’s Winter NU Duals.
Things didn’t go either teams’ way as both went 1-5 for the day. The men would defeat the University of Incarnate Word, while the women would get their win over Fairleigh Dickinson University. Both teams would end the regular season with over 30 wins on the year. The men finished with a 35-13, while the women posted a 31-17 record.
With the conclusion of the regular season, both teams now their focus to the Midwest Conference Championships on Feb. 22 and 23.