Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Making Their Point

En Garde! The women’s fencing team is the New England champion for the seventh consecutive year.

Fencing matches bear little resemblance to Zorro movies. Bouts last only three minutes and feature as much bouncing and pausing as thrusting and parrying.

But within those short bursts of attack, the MIT women’s fencing team has found time to dominate. In February, the Engineers won the three-weapon (foil, saber, and epee) team title at the New England Championships for the seventh year in a row. They finished the 2004-05 season atop the Northeast Fencing Conference for the fifth consecutive year–a result all the more impressive considering that in fencing, the three NCAA divisions compete against one another. That means MIT’s Division III fencers face scholarship athletes from Division I schools. Three of the Engineers–Suki Dorfman ‘05 and Gemma Mendel ‘06 in foil and Drew Reese ‘07 in saber–were named to the conference all-star team. Dorfman, who is captain of the team, won the foil event at the 2005 New England Championships for the fourth consecutive time, establishing a conference record. She went on to compete in the NCAA Women’s Fencing Championships in March.

Yet 60 percent of the MIT fencers had had no experience before college. So why is the team so strong? “Fencing is a really good fit for MIT,” says Jarek Koniusz, who just finished his 11th season as head coach at MIT. “Some call it physical chess,” explains Dorfman.

But maybe Koniusz is being too modest. Dorfman credits him with the team’s success, saying he tailors training to his athletes’ needs and gives individual lessons to every team member. Men and women fence each other in practice, which some of the women say greatly improves their skills. And the team has become more serious in recent years; there are now two-week-long tryouts every fall, and many fencers who make the squad stick with the sport throughout their MIT careers.

Other short items of interest

History in Pictures

A Welcome to MIT’s New President

Making Their Point

Speed on the Deep

Space Suit Redux

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.