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South Men’s Fencing Team: County Championship

The Great Neck South Varsity Men’s Fencing Team capped another successful season on Sunday, Feb. 7, by winning its third consecutive Nassau County Title. The Rebels, coached by Robert Piraino, were undefeated at 8-0 during the regular season and captured the League title and No. 1 seed heading into the Nassau County Team Tournament. South then swept through the tournament, defeating No. 8 seed Great Neck North, No. 4 seed Wheatley and No. 2 seed Jericho in the finals. The Rebels’ nine starters for the team tournament were, fencing sabre, Brandyn Itzkowitz, Eugene Park and Alex Smith, fencing foil, Zachary Goodman, Ethan Levy and Andrew Liu, and, fencing epee, Steven Ngo, Danny Qiao and David Titan.    

The Rebels’ undefeated record in the regular season and the playoffs does not even begin to reveal the extent of their domination this season. Each meet is best out of 27 bouts. The first team to win 14 bouts wins the meet. At the tournament, South won its semifinal and final meets by identical scores of 14-7. Further demonstrating the extent of the individual talent on the Rebels’ squad, 6 of the 9 starters received All Nassau County recognition. Senior Steven Ngo (epee), junior Eugene Park (sabre), and junior Ethan Levy (foil), were named First Team All-County. Junior Zachary Goodman (foil), was named Second Team All-County and senior Brandon Itzkowitz (sabre), and sophomore Andrew Liu (foil), received All County Honorable Mention. The three foil starters (Levy, Goodman and Liu) combined for a regular season record of 58 and 19, a staggering 75.3 percent winning percentage, and were even more dominant in the Team Tournament, going 15 and 3.

A week earlier, at the Nassau County Individual Fencing Championships, the Rebels’ showing was no less impressive. Ngo and Qiao won medals for second and eighth place, respectively, in epee. In sabre, Park won the medal for second place and in foil, Goodman and Levy took home medals for third and fourth place, respectively.

The three straight county titles are unprecedented in the history of Great Neck South varsity sports. Could a fourth straight county title be in the cards for the Rebels? Coach Piraino certainly thinks so. Six of South’s nine starters are likely returning next year, including four All-County fencers.  While that may not be good news for the Rebels’ competition, the future of the South Varsity Mens Fencing dynasty certainly looks bright.