LAURA LAPHAM, Arts & Life Editor — The Denison women’s fencing team is one of the campus’ new varsity sports, and is the first of the fencing teams to achieve varsity status.

Denison fencing competes against Division I, II and III schools, usually throughout the midwest. The team also completes against many fencing clubs as well. 

Anusha Shukla ‘22 is a biochemistry major that recently joined the women’s fencing team. When talking about her experience of joining the team she said, “As one of the newest people in the team, everyone has been very welcoming. Everyone on the team is good friends and everyone is looking out for one another. This is all very new to most of us, so we’re all trying to be there for each other and get through the hard parts as a team. We have a pretty good bond with the men’s club team as well. The future is pretty exciting. The team has progressed so much in such a short time. And we can only get better from here.” 

The women’s varsity team and the men’s fencing team have a close relationship with one another on Denison’s campus. Shukla described her feelings toward the upcoming season.

“We’re obviously looking forward to our first season as varsity fencers. But the commitment and work that comes with it is a lot. The team has been quite motivated though and very supportive of everyone so I’m confident we’ll find a good balance between our academics and our new athletic commitments.”

Denison varsity fencing is coached by Dr. Peter Grandbois. He said that he was “thrilled for both men and women. Fencing keeps growing here at Denison and we have a team that supports one another and helps each other to grow as well.” 

In terms of becoming a varsity sport he said,“I’m glad that the women are varsity. That means more attention to our sport and beyond. It is a chance for the women to shine and show what they are made of.” 

In regards to the team’s future, Dr. Grandbois says, “We are a young team. We’re pretty inexperienced. We believe in ourselves and I think we’ll do really well this year.” 

There is much excitement for the future of the Fencing team here at Denison. The women’s varsity team and the men’s fencing club meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on the second floor of the Mitchell Athletic Center.