Yale’s fencing teams emerged from a busy and trying weekend with a mix of wins and losses in New Jersey and New York.
On Saturday, the men’s squad (3-7, 0-0 Ivy) lost a crushing 20-7 match to Rutgers and a tight 14-13 competition to Vassar, followed on Sunday at the New York University Invitational by a 20-7 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame and a 25-2 defeat at the hands of No. 1 Ohio State. The Elis picked up one win, an 18-9 victory over Wayne State.
The No. 8 women’s team (9-3, 0-0) maintained a spotless record on Saturday, winning 18-9 and 24-3 against Rutgers and Vassar respectively. But they fell the next day at NYU, 16-11 to No. 4 Ohio State and 20-7 to both Northwestern and No. 1 Notre Dame. The Elis managed one win Sunday, a 14-13 victory over Wayne State.
Though the men did not win a single weapon against Rutgers, the epee squad narrowly lost by a single point. Against Vassar, both the foil and epee squads went 6-3.
Cory Werk ’06 boasted the only two Yale wins against Rutgers in the foil and a 5-1 record for the day. Werk was competing for the first time this season after taking the fall semester off from the fencing team. John Beski ’07 said Werk took the first semester off to look for jobs, and that he has rejoined the team for the remainder of the season.
Ethan Wais ’07, who competes in foil, said the past two days were particularly strenuous, which could explain some of the team’s losses.
“I think this weekend was tough for a couple of reasons,” Wais said. “First, we had two meets back-to-back, and on Sunday, we were fencing some of the top schools in the country, Ohio State and Notre Dame.”
Though the Bulldogs could not handle these strong competitors, Michael Pearce ’09 and Beski pulled together a combined six wins against Notre Dame. Pearce and Steve Miller ’08 also prevented an Ohio State sweep with two wins.
In the match against Wayne State, many fencers showed their strengths, with Kawing Cho ’07, Brad Broadhead ’08, Matthew Chaiken ’08, Miller, Pearce and Beski each taking home two victories and Werk and Wais winning three apiece.
Although Beski admitted it was a challenging stretch, Wais said the fencers showed a lot of heart.
“We all fenced hard, and we all fenced pretty much the best we could,” Wais said.
The strongest performance Saturday came in the foil. That squad posted a perfect 18-0 record over the two matches, including six wins each from Alisa Mendelsohn ’07 and Diana Schawlowski ’08.
The sabre squad went 8-1 against Vassar and 5-4 versus Rutgers, with Erin Frey ’08 taking all six of her contests on the day. The epee squad fell to the Scarlet Knights, 5-4, but rebounded to top the Brewers, 7-2.
“We had a really great day on Saturday,” Frey said. “Everyone fenced on top of things, and everyone was really with it.”
On Sunday, the Elis faced more challenging competition, but still managed to produce some stellar individual wins.
In the foil against the Buckeyes, Mendelsohn and Jennifer Cohen ’09 both went 3-0, and the women demolished OSU in the sabre, 9-0.
Against Notre Dame, Schawlowski took three wins in the foil, and Carly Guss ’06 went 2-1 in the sabre.
Mendelsohn and Schawloski helped top Wayne State with a combined 6-0 in the foil, and Guss and Frey sealed the victory, both going 2-1 in the sabre.
Despite the three losses on Sunday, Guss said she is still positive about the Bulldogs’ chances in Ivy play.
“I’m still proud of our record and how we are doing, and I have really high hopes for the rest of the season,” Guss said.
Back home in New Haven, the Bulldogs will return to competition this Saturday, Jan. 28, against Sacred Heart and Tufts.