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Engarde! SVC Fencing Club hosts biggest tournament yet

By Erin Brody, Arts and Culture Editor

The sound of metal clashing against metal could be heard over the screams of a bloodthirsty crowd. The heat in the air uncomfortably clung to the competitors who stood doubled over from exhaustion.

This exhilarating scene took place in the Carey Gym courtesy of Saint Vincent College’s Fencing Club.

However, this is not the first time SVC has seen professors or coaches dueling against each other. This event is a tradition for the club, but this is the first time eight members of the staff and faculty dueled each other.

(Credit: Brody) Dean of Humanities Dr. Elaine Bennet and politics professor Dr. Jerome Foss dual each other in the fencing tournament.

“We want to expand to get a greater crowd here and to involve more of the staff at St. Vincent... It was kind of a little challenge to get them [to fence], but we’re happy that so many teachers were interested,” Matthew Boyer, Fencing Club President and freshman politics major, said.

The first rounds went to five points and were between politics professor Dr. Jerome Foss (winner) and philosophy professor Dr. Eric Mohr, women’s lacrosse coach Jym Walters (winner) and football coach Aaron Smetanka, and business professor Dr. Justin Petrovich and tennis coach Brian Niemiec (winner). Biology professor Dr. Michelle Duennes was unable to fence, immediately moving Dean of School of Humanities Dr. Elaine Bennet to the next round.

(CREDITS: Brody) Women’s lacrosse coach and fencing tournament winner Jym Walters poses with his trophy.

The final round was between Foss and Walters. The finishing duel was also the longest duel as the competitors battled to reach 10 points total. The fencers also tied for points or had to redo matches multiple times, resulting in a restless and passionate crowd.

In the end, Walters was victorious, or so it first appeared. Boyer announced he would duel Walters, resulting in another close match. After that heated duel, SVC’s President Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B. sat down on the bleachers to watch. His fellow onlookers began chanting his name in hopes of getting him to fence.

(CREDIT: Brody) SVC President Fr. Paul Taylor, women’s lacrosse coach Jym Walters, and Fencing Club President Matthew Boyer pose for a picture after the tournament.

Taylor obliged and dueled Walters, only to prove once again that Walters was the true victor of the event.

(Credit: Brody) Saint Vincent staff and faculty and fencing club members pose for a picture after the tournament.

Fencing Club meetings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and new members are always welcome. Updates about the club can be found on the Fencing Club’s Instagram page @svc_fencing_club.


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