WOMEN’S FENCING | Bulldogs face tough competition

The Bulldogs lost the first five matchups of their fall season finale but ended the Brandeis Invitational with a 14–13 win over MIT.
The Bulldogs lost the first five matchups of their fall season finale but ended the Brandeis Invitational with a 14–13 win over MIT. Photo by Zeenat Mansoor.

Battling against stiff competition and a long day of bouting, the women’s fencing team closed out its fall season with a 1–5 performance at the Brandeis Invitational on Sunday. After falling to Johns Hopkins, St. John’s, Boston College, University of North Carolina and Brandeis in succession, the Elis prevailed in a close encounter with MIT at the end of the day.

“We were relatively disappointed in our performance today,” epeeist Katherine Miller ’16 said. “We won one of our matches but many of our defeats were very, very close.”

Before the team could garner any momentum for the day, it suffered a 18–9 loss to Johns Hopkins and a loss to St. Johns by the same margin in its first two matchups.

In closer bouts with Boston College and home team Brandeis, the Bulldogs lost by only one point, 14–13. The Elis fell for the fourth time on the day, 16–11, against UNC sandwiched in between its defeats to Boston College and Brandeis.

At the end the day, the team’s spirit and morale helped the fencers battle through their last bouts, Lauren Miller ’15 said. As teammates continued to coach each other along the strip, the Elis came way with a 14–13 win against MIT.

“It’s tough at the end of the day, with momentum and physical tiredness working against us,” Robyn Shaffer ’13 added. “I think everyone wanted to finish strong with a win, and we knew we could try to do that against MIT.”

The foil squad contributed to the win with an 8–1 round.

“Each individual squad fenced well at different rounds during the day,” Shaffer said. “In our future competitions, we need to be more confident in our team’s capabilities and focus on putting forward a high-energy performance, so that all our squads are on point together.”

Foilist Lauren Miller won fourteen of her nineteen bouts throughout the day. She was joined by Megan Murphy ’16, who walked onto the squad last week and won several bouts at Brandeis.

Katherine Miller also performed well, finishing with a 13–5 record throughout the day.

“I think the whole women’s team will see this tournament as a learning experience, as we think about everything from how to best warm up to how to best stay energized,” Lauren Miller said.

The women’s fencing team will be on break until it returns to Payne Whitney on Jan. 19 to host Sacred Heart.

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