SU Fencing Team faces West Chester and Kutztown University

The Shippensburg Fencing Club competed in an extensive tournament April 7 against West Chester University and Kutztown University.

Shippensburg University participated against West Chester University and Kutztown University. The event started at 2 pm and lasted until 8 pm.

Bob Clift of West Chester University took first place against Anthony Estep of Shippensburg University. Third place went to Bradley Solorzano of Shippensburg University while Austin Stoudt of Kutztown University achieved fourth place.

“In the semi-finals, Clift beat Stoudt, with Estep taking out Solorzano,” said Ryan Nych, vice president of the Shippensburg Fencing team.

The match began with arm, wrist, and finger stretches followed by practicing. 

The instructor of the fencing tournament, Nickolys Hinton, informed the audience about the gear the players are performing in and the rules of fencing.

The uniform consists of a white jacket, white pants cropped at the knee, high socks, and sneakers. Players wear a full-face mask and a padded glove for the sword hand. The sword used in this fencing tournament is called an épée. 

Hinton explains the guidelines of the game. “The épée target zones of where I can stab my opponent is anywhere from his toes to his chest to his neck and even his hand. If I can see it, I can stab it,” said Hinton.

The players attach a chord to their jacket each time they compete because the épée they use is electric, so they have a machine that tracks who stabbed who. Although, they still have a referee for each play to make sure the points are accurate.

“If you have the skill to stab your opponent, and not get stabbed in the process, you receive a point,” Hinton said.

Each opponent earns a point if they stab successfully. Once someone gets five points, the round is over. Also, there are no ties, so if both players end up with 5 points, they result back to the previous score until someone wins.

“Hopefully you all have a fun time watching everybody stab each other,” Hinton said. 

Members of the fencing teams wore t-shirts with customized nicknames on the back including “Firefly” worn by Tobias Hodges, president of the Shippensburg Fencing team.

An odd fact about fencing is it is considered safer than ping pong. “We stab each other with swords, but we’re safer than ping pong. That’s my favorite statistic,” Hinton said.

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