Club sports rundown: Fencing and lacrosse prepare for spring season

A new domed lacrosse and soccer facility is coming to Pitt's campus.

A new domed lacrosse and soccer facility is coming to Pitt's campus.

By Ashley Drwal / For The Pitt News

Although seasons for fall club sports teams are ending, the spring teams are just getting started. Teams are beginning to recruit new players, develop play strategies and create practice schedules for the upcoming season.

Pitt Fencing

Pitt Fencing’s most recent success includes six team members placing eighth or higher in individuals for the three different types of fencing (foil, sabre and épée) and the men’s team foil placing fourth in the Southern Atlantic Conference Championship on Oct. 20 in Swarthmore, Pa. In the USA Collegiate Fencing Conference national tournament, the women’s team épée placed third.

“Our level of fencing has improved since we have grown as a club,” Jen Hess, the president of Pitt Fencing Association, said. “The majority of people who join have no previous experience but bring enthusiasm and a desire to learn the sport.”

The team practices four times a week, alternating between drills and open fencing. The sport and its practices emphasize proper footwork and cardiovascular endurance.

“Good fencers have athleticism, think quickly on their feet and are willing to try whatever works to get a touch,” Nicole Mee, another fencer and engineering major, said. “Fencing is a mental game as well as a physical one, and good fencers think critically about what works and what doesn’t against an opponent.”

But even with all of the hard work and dedication the Pitt fencing team shows within its year-round season, it can still have a little fun.

“Even within the team, there’s a bit of competition between the three types of weapons about which weapon is better,” Jessica Feldman, another fencer with a focus in American sign language, said. “This usually leads to friendly teasing about bad technique and tip jokes. Although, there are always tip jokes …”

Pitt Men’s Lacrosse

Pitt Men’s Lacrosse is striving to recruit members to make it to the Conference Championship and Nationals this upcoming season. With the loss of so many starting seniors, the team wants new members to fill those positions with fresh talent and help send the team to victory.

The team plays in the CCLA Division 1 East, along with schools like Michigan State, Ohio University and Central Michigan.

Last year, the team finished the season 7-8 and lost during the semifinals. The biggest game it faces this season comes in April against Michigan State. The Spartans won against Pitt each of the past three years but only by a few goals. Pitt plans on changing that streak this year.

Of the players that remain, Zack Hindman, the club’s president and defensive starter said, “Our best players are all dedicated and hardworking guys. I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone that has as much heart and love for the game as them.”

The team participates in scrimmages and tournaments all fall in preparation for the start of its season in January. During the spring, the team practices Monday through Thursday around 10 p.m. and does conditioning or morning runs on Friday and Saturday.

Attacker Chris Wetzel said one of the bests parts of being on the team is simple: “scoring [goals].”

“Special crew,” he added about the team as a whole.

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