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October 10, 2013

Fencing teams look sharp at season start

Men and women perform well at OSU Duals

By Ronnie Holman

Cleveland State’s men’s and women’s fencing teams are in an upward motion in the beginning of the season. They were red hot during their first meet. Over the weekend the team competed at the Ohio State Duals and had their best start in six years. Andy Tulleners, head coach at Cleveland State for the last six years, expects the men and the women to have continued success. The women’s team has been shorthanded in the past but Tulleners looks for better things to come. Over the weekend the team beat some big competition, defeating schools like Michigan State, that school up north Michigan, Purdue, Illinois and Xavier just to name a few.

CSU Fencing

“The women have been short on members in the past, but this year the team will post a full squad for the first time in a while,” Tulleners said. “They are a little lighter than the men, but I think the women could have a winning season. It’ll be tough, but with some tough freshmen and sophomores, I think it will happen.”

Some of the men are NCAA hopefuls, but one of the biggest things to stay successful is consistency. Of course there will be some downfalls and areas that need to be corrected, but with consistency, positive things will happen.

“There are some ups and downs. But I think the more consistent we can be, we will beat the teams I know we are capable of beating,” Tulleners said. “Occasionally we will face some teams that are stronger. But because of consistency we should be able to surprise a few.”

Some students may not even know about how successful Cleveland State’s fencing team has been, if the school has a fencing team or what fencing is. The fencing team has shown longevity along with a couple other sports at Cleveland State. There may be some history about the fencing team that may be shocking in a good way.

“I think fencing is one of the oldest sports here at Cleveland State, along with wrestling and swimming,” Tulleners said. “Fencing was the only NCAA champion from Cleveland State back in the late 70s.”

Coach Tulleners still has a competitive nature in fencing and sometimes has that competitive drive with his team. He tries to give some of drive and spirit to his student athletes.

“I still have that competitive drive and spirit so I approach it with that mindset,” Tulleners said.

The Vikings’ second meet will be on November 2nd at CASE Western Reserve. There are other competitions the team will compete coming in the near future. Cleveland is hosting on the second weekend in November its first national fencing tournament probably in about a decade at the new medical mart in downtown Cleveland and the Cleveland State’s fencing team will be competing if students and staff want to check the team out.