Sophomore Arabella Sunga represents U.S. in international fencing competition



Sunga (‘20) lunges in to strike an opponent.

Sophomore Arabella Sunga has quite the special talent – she fences.  Using what she describes as the second fastest moving object next to a bullet, she “makes quick and intelligent decisions in a split second” as she faces an opponent with a saber and hits her with a cut, slash, or tab anywhere above the waist, including the head or arms.

Trained at Stanford University, Arabella now practices at a club in San Francisco in preparation for various competitions.  She fences in the cadets division and sometimes in higher ones against high school juniors and seniors.

She says, “Fencing with older and more experienced girls, like NCAA and international level athletes, is a learning experience for me whenever I am on the strip with them.”

Arabella loves fencing because of the mental game.  She says, “I want to become a doctor someday and it helps me with my ability to think about the right decision in a short amount of time… They say that a competitive smart fencer uses mathematics, biomechanics, and physics to maximize his/her effectiveness…”

In the past year, Arabella received an “All American Team” award and an “All Academic” award from the United States Fencing Association for being able to maintain a high GPA in school and being one of the country’s most competitive athletes.

She will be representing the United States in the world championships as one of three fencers in the cadet women’s saber division in Romania at the end of January.

She says, “Unlike nationals, world cups are a little nerve-racking since you not only compete for yourself, but for the country you represent… I am ready to give my best possible performance, and I hope to bring recognition to our country.”

She adds, “Finding the right balance between school and sports is never an easy task. I am very lucky that Notre Dame High School and its faculty members provide me the utmost support that I can possibly receive.”

With contributions by Vanessa Velasco