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The ICJA fencers had their first meet of the season against Deerfield and Highland Park on Nov. 9 at HPHS, and it turned out to be the best kick-off the Aces have had. Veteran fencers came out very strong against the DHP squads, showing their experience and skill. The biggest surprise was the new fencers who have made incredible strides in one month of training in a new sport.

The men’s squad this year is small but extremely talented. Stand-outs were men’s epee fencer and team captain Josh Polster, who went undefeated against both Highland Park (3-0), and Deerfield (4-0). Sabre fencer Michael Julio Price who went 5-2 against a combined DHP squad. Junior Shimon Stein finished 3-3 for the day in men’s foil, and team manager Ezra Schur finished 3-4 in men’s epee. New foil fencer Jacob Felix showed incredible poise and promise, scoring against most of his opponents in his inaugural meet.

The women’s squad generated excitement and energy in their first meet. The fencers to watch this year are team captain Dena Lebowitz, who finished the day 5-1, and women’s epee squad leader, Nava Wolgel, who went 4-1. Several of the women fencers had their strongest tournaments to date. Foil fencer Chaya Feige Friedman finished 3-3. The four veteran women’s sabre fencers, Masha Matten, Sarah Quintas, Gail Schneiderman, and squad leader Brocha Shanes all went 2-3 for the day, and Chani Shaipro finished 1-4 in epee. Although Tziona Chernoff lost her bouts, she kept them all close.

The new fencers on the women’s team to keep an eye on are epee fencers Julia Polster, who won two bouts in her first meet, finishing 2-3, and Tamar Dallal who won a bout to finish 1-4. Freshman Tzippy David had two close 4-5 losses for the day. New sabre fencer Roni Bell also came home with a victory, lost a close 4-5 bout, and scored on each of her opponents. Foil fencer Rebecca Quintas scored on all but one of her opponents.

Coach Price and Coach Rubin are very happy with the way the team is coming together, building on past successes. The student leadership and spirit are going to make this the most exciting fencing season ever for the ICJA Aces!

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