FENCING: Yalies strong in NY

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Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

The men’s and women’s fencing teams have been consistent all year long and finished with 3–2 and 2–3 records, respectively, at this past weekend’s NYU Invitational.

The Bulldogs faced an impressive array of competitors, representing Notre Dame, Ohio State, NYU, Wayne State and UNC on the men’s side and Northwestern, among others, in the women’s competition.

“I’m really impressed with how our team performed at NYU,” said women’s fencing team captain Lauren Miller ’15. “Although it was a physically difficult tournament because we were up against top tier schools and had several rounds without breaks, the team pulled through.”

The men’s team finished the day with a 3–2 record, defeating NYU, UNC and Wayne State. The Bulldogs were able to squeeze out a win against NYU, defeating the hosts 14–13 behind strong performances from the foil and epee squads, which both scored 6–3.

The Elis again leaned on the strength of the épée and foil squads to defeat UNC, 15–12. Foilist Jin Ishizuka ’16 and épéeist Peter Cohen ’14 both went undefeated in their three bouts against UNC.

All components of the men’s team defeated their Wayne State counterparts on the way to a 17–10 victory. The sabre squad posted a 7–2 victory while both the foilists and epeeists squeaked out 5–4 wins.

But Yale narrowly fell to OSU, 14–13, and was unable to overcome the strength of Notre Dame’s epeeists and foilists, dropping the bout 18–9. Against OSU, the Bulldogs dropped their bouts 5–4 in the epee and sabre competitions. The foil squad defeated OSU by the same score, 5–4.

“Overall it was a pretty good day for us,” Cohen said. “We had some tough losses to Notre Dame and OSU, but they are very strong teams so it is not something that should effect our confidence.”

The women’s team had been unable to finish better than 1–4 the past three years at the NYU Invitational, but this year, the Bulldogs were able to get over the hump against tough competition.

The Elis started their day against two of their most difficult opponents, Notre Dame and Northwestern, falling 19–8 and 20–7, respectively. The Bulldogs received a 5–4 victory from the sabre squad against Notre Dame, but none of the squads were able to defeat Northwestern.

Yale pulled out a resounding victory against Wayne State, 20–7. All three squads posted victories, with sabre winning 8–1 and both foil and épée winning 6–3. Alison Barton ’14 of the épée squad and Megan Murphy ’16 of the foil squad both went undefeated in their three bouts.

The women also had a very tight match against NYU, winning 14–13. The sabre squad carried the Bulldogs with a 6–3 win, while the epee squad finished 5–4 and the foil squad fell 6–3.

The Elis were unable to replicate their success against Ohio State in the final round of the day, falling 18–9. Again, all three squads fell to their respective counterparts from Ohio State.

“While last year we were only able to beat Wayne State, this year we overturned our close loss to NYU last year by beating them 14-13,” Miller said. “The excitement of finally beating NYU carried us through the rest of the day, giving us the chance to fence some of our best bouts against powerhouse Ohio State.”

Cohen said this weekend’s tournament was an opportunity for the fencers to figure out what they needed to work on in order to prepare for the Ivy championships.

This weekend will feature the team’s last tune-up before the Ivy League Championship Feb. 8–9. The teams will face Vassar and Drew, two schools Yale has historically done well against. The teams have not lost to either school since at least 2010.

“Looking towards Vassar and Drew this weekend, the team is physically and mentally prepared to win,” Miller said. “As long as we can bring together the focus and determination we have seen these past couple of weekends, I’m confident that we’ll do great on Saturday.”

Both teams will face Vassar and Drew at 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively, in their final home matches of the season.

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