Lydia Segal (’20) is a leader on the women’s fencing team at Drew, particularly because of her experience as a senior and her success in the foil discipline. The Drew University women's fencing team completed its regular season on Feb. 16, by registering a 4-3 dual-meet record at the Eastern Women's Fencing Conference (EWFC) Championships at Hunter College. Those results brought the Rangers' season record to 46-18 and established a program record for wins in a season. Segal was top in foil at 8-6, qualifying her for the individual championship portion of the event. Segal won bronze and earned Second Team All-Conference honors in foil.
Her illustrious fencing career for the Rangers almost never was as Lydia applied to Drew on a whim, only knowing that it was a small liberal arts college with a fencing team. After having been accepted she became more interested once she toured campus and connected with many of the opportunities Drew had to offer. What clinched the decision for Segal was that Drew has “a strong fencing team I could be a part of, a low student-to-faculty ratio, scholarship opportunities, and a campus that is surrounded by nature.”
Academically, Lydia is an incredibly dedicated student having completed the work required to graduate in May with a double major in art and business and a minor in art history. When asked what has been the biggest challenge of being a student-athlete, her response was, “There’s never enough time. As a freshman and sophomore, I took for granted how much free time I had. As a junior, and now a senior, fitting in a thesis, two majors, and fencing is increasingly difficult. While it’s definitely possible to fit everything in, it’s a major challenge.” Despite her view on time,
Segal fit in the NYC Semester on Contemporary Art. In addition to all her responsibilities as a student-athlete, Lydia has been co-president of the Hillel club since her sophomore year. Religion is a big part of Segal’s life and she wanted “to remain close to and involved with the Jewish community.”
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Segal has strived towards and accomplished many of her goals throughout her athletic career. She wished to show improvement each year she competed. Her personal goal was to have a higher win record with every fencing season to represent her growth as a fencer and to better support her team. Before joining Drew’s fencing team, Lydia had only fenced individually or as part of a club. In order to be a better team player, Lydia worked on being more supportive of her teammates and offered helpful advice when she could. Segal proudly stated that, “I believe I’ve been able to accomplish both of my goals. My individual strength as a fencer has consistently grown and I have become someone that other fencers respect and look at for advice or encouragement.”
As for her future, Lydia is still in the process of figuring out her plans once she graduates. Although she has decided employment is the goal and not graduate school, having already applied to a few art-related jobs in New York City, Philadelphia, and Connecticut. Still Lydia remains uncertain on where she will end up or what her future job might be but is looking forward to her bright future ahead.
Asked if she had any final thoughts, Lydia’s parting words for her teammates were, “Everyone should be able to learn from their mistakes. See each loss as a learning experience, not a failure. You aren’t letting others down by losing; instead, your loss is just one more way to show improvement down the line and become a better fencer.”
Catch Segal and Drew’s women’s fencing team on Saturday, Feb. 29 as they complete their 2019-2020 team schedule at home in the Simon Forum for the NIWFA Championships.