The women’s fencing team is currently 25-6 as they prepare for two meets this coming weekend; the Fairleigh Dickinson University Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 11 and their last home meet, the Drew University Invitational on Feb. 12. Caitlin Kotz (‘19) is the captain of the women’s foil team. She is a BioChemistry and Molecular Biology Major on the Pre-Med track. In addition to fencing, she also participates in Pre-Health Society, Drew Republicans, is a SAAC member and works as a Campus Ambassador. She is also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Kotz chose to come to Drew for the strong science programs that Drew offers, as well as small classes and individual attention that the professors here provide their students with. Having Drew located in a small town was also a big draw.
The greatest challenge that Kotz has experienced as a student athlete, especially being a fencer, is being able to manage her time with the weekend-long tournaments that the team attends and the difficult classes that are a part of being a BioChemistry major. She said, “Although this is my biggest challenge, it has really made me a better student by knowing the time that I have to study is critical.” She also credits her determination to work hard as well as the flexibility of her professors as essential factors in helping her succeed in the classroom and helping her to learn how to manage her time well.
This season, the women’s team worked very hard during their preseason preparing physically and mentally for their season, and given their .806 win percentage, that hard work has been paying off. The team is small and has a lot of new talent on it, so they were all pushed to become close and had to being performing for each other, instead of just for themselves.
Looking towards the future, Kotz has high goals for herself as well as her team. She hopes to attend NCAA Nationals as an individual. She also wants to see her team win their NIWFA and EWFC conference. She has high hopes for building the team in the future to help them achieve these goals, and the coaching staff has also been dedicated in helping her and the team achieve their goals.
When asked what makes fencing a different sport on campus, Kotz said that fencing often confuses people because it is not a well-known sport. She says, “The best way I can describe the sport is physical chess, there is a huge mental aspect to deceive your opponent with it also being physically demanding.” She also would love it if other athletes or those who are just curious about the sport would try fencing for a practice to see how it really works.