By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Montgomery High has built a strong fencing program in the short time the sport has been offered at the school.
This year’s edition of the Cougar girls team might just be the best of many teams that have competed under head coach Johanna Snedeker.
“We have another outstanding team,” Snedeker said. “The girls are excellent and they have worked well together.”
The Cougars, who are undefeated in dual matches this season, turned in their best effort of the season when they finished second overall at the Santelli tournament last weekend. The Cougars foil team was second and the epee was fourth.
The foil squad featured Laura Sun on A strip, Lizzy Tieu on B strip, and Jackie Cho on C strip. The epee squad featured Chloe Sofield, Nasya Hristov and Maddie Larkin.
“We did very well,” Snedeker said. “Sabre was the weirdest thing because of the distribution of teams. It was a bit odd. Everyone considered Bergen Tech to be number one and I thought we were second and we wound up in the same pool, which also included Watching Hills. So the pool was strong and challenging.”
The sabre squad consisted of Brenda Yang, Helen Zhang and Phoebe Lai.
“Phoebe was phenomenal,” Snedeker said. “She was not undefeated but she was very close.”
The success of the team, which took a 7-0 record into Thursday’s scheduled match with Somerville, has not caught Snedeker by surprise.
“We did expect it,” she said. “We have a new freshman, May Tieu, who missed the tournament because she was fencing over in Italy in a cadet tournament. She finished 22nd out of over 100 under 17s. She fenced for us for the county tournament and was the foil champ.”
Montgomery won the Somerset County title earlier this season. It was the first time a county tournament was held for fencing.
“We won the county tournament right before Christmas,” Snedeker said. “May was foil champ and Brenda was the sabre champ.
The Cougars next big test will come in the district tournament, which will be held Jan. 30 at Livingston.
I have a dynamic duo with Brenda and Laura, they are so good,” Snedeker said. “They have been going out and beating people. They have maybe a loss here or there but they are really doing great. Laura fences on A strip when May is not here and B when she.”
The depth and talent the Cougars have could make this a special season.
“We had one year when won the Santelli and we have gone to the state finals and come in second twice and we were third last year,” Snedeker said. “This year the team has done really well and we hope that continues.”
MONTGOMERY: Cougar fencers enjoying success
By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor