FENCING | Elis defeat Vassar and Drew

harboe_fencing
Photo by Graham Harboe.

On Saturday, both the men and women’s fencing squads dominated Vassar College and Drew University at Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

The No. 10 men’s team (8–4) defeated Vassar 21–6 and Drew 24–3, while the women’s team (6–7) beat the Brewers 19–8 and obliterated Drew with a 26–1 win. The teams show promise going into the Ivy League Championships — the first time the teams will face Ancient Eight opponents this season — at home at the Coxe Cage next weekend. The men’s team is currently ranked fourth in the Ivy League, and the women’s team is ranked in eighth place.

“The matches against Vassar and Drew were a great tune-up for the Ivy League Championships,” team manager and foilist Jose Martinez ’12 said. “We were expecting to do well, but we kept up the pressure all day. They might not have the talent to match some schools in the Ivy League, but they are building strong programs and are doing better every year.”

Despite subjugating the two rivals, Martinez said, the team feels like it has a ways to go if it is to take the Ivy title.

He added that the entire season’s training is designed with only the Ivies in mind, and the team is combining a heavy practice schedule with scoutings of other Ivy teams.

“This will by far be our toughest test of the year, although we have fenced some of the best schools in the nation already,” Martinez said. “Regardless though, we are fencing at home, and if another team wants to take the championship from us, they know that road has to go through Yale fencing.”

Whereas the men’s team exchanged some wins and losses in the previous week’s matches, the Elis dominated this week’s lineups and won in all weapons except épée against Vassar. In the match against Vassar, foil went 9-0, épée 4-5 and saber 8-1. Against Drew, foil, épée and saber all finished 8-1.

While every player contributed to the wins, Martinez singled out Canadian foilist Sam Broughton ’15 as the man of the match.

“[Broughton] won all 5 of the matches he fenced this season and put on an amazing display of skill and determination,” Martinez said.

In the women’s team, foil went 6–3, épée 7–2 and saber 6–3 against Vassar. Against the Rangers, épée went 8-1, saber 9-0 and foil 9-0.

“Our victories over Vassar and Drew were definitely team victories,” team captain Robyn Shaffer ’13 said. “In previous matches, one squad had faltered while the other two performed well; this weekend, all three squads were competing strongly.”

Shaffer said Brenda Seah ’14 and Rachel Hayes ’15, both on the saber squad, especially shined as non-starters.

She added that the team is looking to the Ivies next weekend and will compete in a round robin against the other seven of the Ancient Eight.

“It’s a very tough tournament, so we are aiming to fence well while keeping a positive attitude. Coming off this weekend’s strong performance, we are hoping to improve over last year’s results,” Shaffer said.

The Elis will be competing in the Ivy Championship from Feb. 11 to 12 at the Coxe Cage.

Correction: Feb. 8

An earlier version of this article misreported the score for the women’s fencing team’s match against Drew University. The score was 26–1, not 21–6.

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