The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

Girls Morgan Fencing Wins Shorelines

Hard work pays off
Jamie Strunjo
Women’s team posing
Riley Brauchler (Lillian Morrissey)

On February 24th, the women made Morgan Fencing history. Not only did the women’s saber squad win first place, but the women won the all-around Shoreline Title. To get first place, the women’s saber beat Guilford 5-4. This is a big accomplishment for them because they had not beaten Guilford all season until this point. Junior Riley Brauchler won the tie-breaker for Morgan, creating a moment of celebration for everyone. The whole team was watching when she helped make Morgan history. Everyone was screaming and jumping, running to hug her when she had won. Riley said “I felt very proud of my accomplishments, and I felt even prouder that I was able to help get my team to first in the conference. I was happy that I was able to make them proud as well and to come out of the day positive.” Riley also had to work hard in order to get this achievement: “I focused on mentally being in it and not worrying about anything outside of what’s in front of me.”

When Riley won the tie-breaker, her friend and women’s foilist, junior Meredith O’Brien watched. She was cheering on her friend all season, and she was waiting for that moment just like everyone else. Meredith did some very hard work that day too: “Seeing my whole team there supporting all of us and hearing them cheer really helps to put that confidence in you and that we’re all

Team cheering (Jennifer O’Brien)

gonna do really well. It’s so positive that you can’t help but be happy and improve your overall mentality and fencing.” While Meredith had a tough season, she can’t help but be happy for all her teammates.

Sophomore Lena Flaherty is another woman’s saberist and is one of the many sophomores that fenced varsity this 2023-2024 season. She said, “I think that what helped me win was going back to the basics and working on that. I really tried to improve on skills that I had learned in my first year and make them solid.” Lena is proud of her teammates and excited for what next season has in store.

Women’s saber was not the only one to get a title that day. Women’s épée got second place, losing to Daniel Hand, and women’s foil got third place, losing to Daniel Hand as well. Seniors Alessa Strunjo, Gavin Gersz, and

Women’s saber bracket (Eli Barden)

Sara Morrissey are all captains of the Morgan Fencing team. They have fearlessly led the women’s épée and foil squads through the season. They uplifted them through tough times and celebrated the wins. Alessa said, “I was super excited that we were able to win all around, but I’m a little disappointed that Women’s Épée didn’t get first.” She was very happy with her senior season

though: “I was so happy that I got to help my teammates be better and that I was able to be a part of it. My last year was a really good year for me and for the rest of my teammates.” Gavin had a similar view on that day: “Coach really helped me by telling me that I could push myself, and my teammates really helped me throughout the day when I got overwhelmed.” Gavin also said, “I really pushed myself, and I was proud that I was able to make it as far as I did.” Sara was also very happy with the results of the season, “I feel great about how much we’ve worked in the past few months, and it just feels good to know that my hard work has paid off.” A lot of what helped her was her coaches and teammates, “Coach and my teammates definitely helped me a lot. This year we did a lot of work, and it really showed.” The captains are all very proud of their teammates and really appreciate their coaches.

Women’s saber (Jim Barnett)

Coach Jim Barnett is the head coach of the Morgan Fencing team. He has been the head coach of the team ever since his son asked to found it in 2010. He is beloved and respected by the assistant coaches and fencers alike. His coaching helped the Morgan Fencing team get to where it is today. His coaching and tireless efforts are what helped the girls pull through and win that day. Coach Barnett is hopeful of getting a banner for Morgan Fencing to show their accomplishments on the walls of Morgan just like every other sport.

Coach Alex Rauccio and Coach Olivia Morrissey are both young coaches, but still helped Morgan just as much as Coach Barnett. They are both alumni of the Morgan Fencing saber squad, graduating from Morgan in 2019. They dedicated their time and effort to the team in order to help the girls get their win. Coach Rauccio said, “It’s a great feeling seeing the athletes you coach succeed. We as coaches give them direction and the tools they need, but the ultimate act of hard work turned success is all them.” Coach Rauccio strongly believes that the girls’ win was all from their effort and hard work: “I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and excitement for the women’s team. To see them have worked so hard and given so much to achieve that goal and have it come to fruition was a great sight.”

The women unfortunately did not win any titles at states with women’s foil and women’s épée finishing in 5th and women’s saber finishing in 6th. Despite this, the ladies of Morgan Fencing are very proud of their accomplishments and hope to do even better next year.

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About the Contributor
Eli Barden
Eli Barden, Reporter, Photographer
Hi, My name is Eli Barden and I am a part of the class of 2026 here at Morgan. I am a part of the women’s saber squad on the Morgan fencing team and I am a part of clubs including REACT and Literary magazine. This is my first semester with the Pawprint and I am so excited to do it my junior year too. I am hopeful that I will create interesting content for the Pawprint that will help the students and staff of Morgan!

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