Sewanee fencers fight their way to the top

Fencers at the tournament
Photo by Taylor Morris

After a long drive to Bowling Green, KY on September 20, Sewanee fencers Taylor Morris (C’16) and Brian Reiss (C’17) both came home to the Mountain happy with new medals to show off. The first tournament of the year for the Sewanee fencing club was filled with sweat and bruises, but Morris and Reiss kept fighting through the very end. Morris showed his skill in Epee from the beginning and dominated in pools. Winning all six of his bouts, at the end of pools Morris was seeded number one going into direct elimination. Getting a by for the first round, Morris saved his strength for the first fifteen point bout.

Going up against an opponent from Royal Fencing International, with a C2013 rating, Morris won the bout 15-12. With one win down, Morris’ next opponent was from Memphis University School. This opponent was also a rated fencer with an E2013, so for the second time Morris had to parry, lunge, and fight his very best to stay ahead. His effort paid off though as he came through the second bout, winning 15-11. The gold medal bout finally arrived, and Morris had to face a C2014 from Eastern Kentucky University Fencing Club. Morris had beat this opponent once in pools, but the opponent got his revenge and won the gold 15-10. Not only winning the silver medal, Morris also earned an E2014 rating, and was “very happy to see Sewanee have more great results at tournaments.”

Despite not winning the gold medal, Morris saw the experience as “a great way for us to learn and improve,” and he looks forward to seeing the Sewanee Fencing Society continue to succeed as the season continues. While Morris advanced in Epee, Reiss made his mark in Saber. During pools Reiss only lost one bout, placing him as the seventh seed. Reiss dominated in his first direct eliminations bout, winning 15-3. The second round was harder as Reiss fenced an opponent from Cheney Fencing, a D2014 rated fencer. Even under pressure, Reiss pulled through and won 15-13.

With two wins down, Reiss was fighting his way up the ranks, but an opponent from Memphis University School, an E2013 rated fencer, pushed Reiss to use all his skill. Even under pressure, Reiss won the bout 15-14 and advanced to the final four. Facing another opponent from Cheney Fencing, who had a D2014 rating at the time of the bout, Reiss prepared himself to once again give the match all he had. He proved to be a tough opponent, beating Reiss 15-4, and advanced to win the gold medal and earn his C2014 rating. Faced with such an experienced fencer, Reiss held his own and represented Sewanee Fencing wonderfully. Winning a third place medal, Reiss earned his D2014 rating and commented, “It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a tournament, everyone was a good sport and extremely fun to fence.” The day was a success for both Morris and Reiss as they drove back to Sewanee with medals and new ratings. This win made four medals the Sewanee Fencing Club has won this year. The Club has four rated fencers in the club now, having at least one in each weapon. The Sewanee Fencing Club has made huge advances these past two years, and as they continue to go to tournaments the medals and ratings will continue to add up.