It’s not always easy to face off against a former teammate. But Yale foil fencer Alisa Mendelsohn ’07 had no trouble distinguishing friend from foe this weekend when she competed against Columbia’s Kathleen Reckling and Cassidy Luitjen, both of whom belong to the same fencing club as the Rockville Center, N.Y. native Mendelsohn.
“My bouts with Reckling and Luitjen were the most intense bouts I’ve had this season; both were 5-4, one win and one loss,” Mendelsohn said.Ê
Mendelsohn’s split was not enough to lift the Yale women’s fencing team (5-4, 1-2 Ivy), who lost to the Lions (8-2, 3-0) 21-6 at Payne Whitney Gym Saturday. In the second contest of the afternoon, Mendelsohn went undefeated to lead the Elis past Brown 17-10.
“What was so great about this weekend’s meets wasn’t the results which were pretty much as expected, but the level of energy that the team managed to keep up for the whole day,” Yale captain Erica Korb ’05 said.
Korb barely pulled off a win against Brown’s top epee fencer but narrowly lost her bouts against Columbia’s best epeeist. There were three 2-1 performances against Columbia, but these were not enough to get a win.
“What was so great about this weekend’s meets wasn’t the results which were pretty much as expected, but the level of energy that the team managed to keep up for the whole day,” Korb said.
Each fencing match is composed of 27 bouts, nine in each of the three weapons. Each team fields three fencers for each of the three events, and the fencers compete in three bouts each.
Against Columbia, the only undefeated team in the Ivies, the Bulldogs foil and saber squads fell 2-7 and 0-9 respectively. Besides Mendelsohn, who won two of her three bouts, no other Eli won a single bout.
The only bright spot came from the epee corps, lead by Korb and Zane Selkirk ’04, each of whom went 2-1. Selkirk turned in a stellar performance, taking out Columbia’s top fencer so that the Lions’ epeeists were unable to come out with any perfect records. But in the end Selkirk’s heroics were not enough for the Yale epeeists who lost 4-5.
“I think Columbia can be seen as a wake up call for the upcoming HYP meet,” Schemmer said.
The later contest Saturday was a completely different story. Three Bulldogs in three different weapons– Mendelsohn, Korb, and saberist Carly Guss ’06 — tallied perfect 3-0 scores in the winning effort. The foil group dominated the competition 7-2, while the epee and saber corps both narrowly edged their opponents 5-4.
The epee squad’s victory — which was decided in the final moments of the day — was particularly exciting. In the last bout of the evening, the Yale captain Korb came through in the clutch.
“I squeaked out a win against the top fencer at Brown with less than 10 seconds left in overtime in the last bout of the day,” said Korb.Ê
The other two epee fencers, Selkir and Katharine Burghardt ’05 each went 1-2.
In the foil, Katharine Schemmer ’06 and Isadora Botwinick ’06 lost only one bout each, adding to Mendelsohn’s 3-0 performance.
Besides Guss’s undefeated performance in the saber, Genevieve Tauxe ’07, and Justine Aw ’06 each added one win to their group’s score.Ê
“Justine [Aw] fenced well considering that she has a serious hand injury which is going to put her out for the rest of the season,” Guss said.Ê
The loss of Aw, a consistently strong performer, will be difficult for the saberists and the rest of the Eli fencers when they face arch rivals Harvard and Princeton in the HYP in two weeks.