Fencing team competes for IFA title



Twice this weekend, Cory Werk’s ’06 teammates became enemies.

At the International Fencing Association’s championship in Boston this weekend, five members of the women’s fencing team and the entire men’s fencing roster competed. The men finished fourth of 12 teams, and the women were tenth.

In the individual foil rounds, Werk found himself matched against teammates Daniel Senft ’03 and Nathan Elchert ’05.

Unlike typical collegiate fencing matches — where scores for each weapon combine to compute the overall team score — the team competition preceeded an individual tournament, where fencers competed for the championship in specific weapons.

Werk , Senft and Elchert competed in the individual foil competition. The Bulldogs placed second in the foil behind Columbia. Werk and Senft placed first and third, respectively.

“Nathan [Elchert] and Daniel [Senft] both fenced amazing tournaments this past weekend,” Werk said. “Nathan [Elchert] fenced his best tournament of the year.”

Pool play in the individual tournament determined which fencers advanced to the single-elimination rounds. All three Yale male foils advanced to the direct elimination round.

In the second round, Werk and Elchert faced each other, with Werk prevailing (15-9), forcing his teammate out of the tournament. Werk met a teammate again in the fourth round when he battled Senft to reach the championship. Werk topped Senft (15-11) and went on to defeat Columbia’s Jeremy Sinkin in the final round to win the foil.

Saber competition got off to a rough start for Yale; the Bulldogs’ No. 1 male saberist, Byron Igoe ’04, was stabbed through the hand in early team competition. Igoe was rushed to the hospital, and walk-on Chris Sinay ’06 sabred in his place for the remainder of the tournament. No saberist advanced to the individual rounds for Yale’s men’s fencing team.

Michael Alexander ’05, James Rohrbach ’04 and Will Tauxe ’05 competed for the Bulldogs in epee, with only Alexander making the individual matches. Yale finished fifth in the team weapon standing, and Alexander dropped in the second round of individual epee.

On the women’s side, four Bulldogs remained in New Haven for the weekend to recover from sickness and injury. Captain Sarah Senk ’03 was healing a strained Achilles tendon, and Isadora Botwinick ’06, who competed Saturday, is still nursing a strained meniscus in her knee from earlier this season. And Carly Guss ’06 and Katie Burghardt ’05 both fought mononucleosis. Neither will compete for the remainder of the season.

Erica Korb ’05 fenced a very successful tournament for Yale; she won the individual female epee competition for the Bulldogs.

“Erica [Korb] had a great tournament,” Sophie Jones ’03 said. “She beat a few people that she had never beaten before, which was a big accomplishment for her.”

Jones and Sarah McDonough ’05 sabred for the Elis, with Jones advancing to individual saber competition, where she finished fifth. Justine Aw ’06 and Botwinick were the only two female foils for Yale Saturday, and only Aw advanced to the individual direct elimination round, taking sixth.

“We didn’t go into the weekend with our usual expectations because of injuries and other factors,” Jones said. “The important thing about the weekend was that we got a lot of diversity in our bouts to prepare us for regionals.”

The Bulldogs will head to New York University this weekend for the NCAA regional championship.

Comments