Aquinas Academy, Pine-Richland fencing teams earn bronze medals

Sunday, March 4, 2018 | 11:25 PM

The Aquinas Academy boys fell just short in Friday's PIFA fencing championships against Peters Township, losing 5-3 in the semifinals at Oakland Catholic on Friday.

Captain Harry Hardman put forth another standout individual performance, winning his match to put his final record at 31-1.

It was a tough loss for the Crusaders (6-3), who tied for the bronze medal with Fox Chapel, but coach John Carroll had nothing but positive things to say.

“I know that Friday night was a disappointment for each of us,” Carroll said. “But as in life, every bout and every match contains an element of fortune. On Friday night, fortune did not favor us. We came in third. Still, it was a great season, and I think we should reflect on our accomplishments. We became a team. We strengthened our bonds, and we brought recognition and honor to our school.”

The Pine-Richland girls also saw their season end in the semifinals, bowing out to Oakland Catholic, 5-2.

It was the second straight bronze-medal finish for the Rams, and coach Brad Cellier said he couldn't have been prouder of the way Valerie Koester, Martha Lacek, Camille Patrignani and Mia Baker competed.

“I was really disappointed that they didn't get a chance to go to the gold-medal match but I wasn't disappointed with, the way that they fenced. They really did fence well. They just ran up against another team that had a tough group of girls,” Cellier said.

“We won the bronze medal last year, and this year we did it again, but I think the girls were so much better this year. They were so much more consistent. I really feel like they did a great job.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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