In the end, it all came down to one point for Yale fencing. The women’s fencing team defeated Harvard by a single bout, 14-13, while the men’s team fell to the Crimson 14-13 in what were the final team matches for both Bulldog squads.
The mixed results against Harvard were only part of a Harvard-Yale-Princeton double-header in New Haven Feb. 22. Yale dropped both the men’s and women’s matches against Princeton with identical scores of 16-11.
In the women’s match against Harvard, Carly Guss ’06 said the Bulldogs’ team spirit and support really helped to put them over the top in the end.
“We fenced pretty well against both Harvard and Princeton,” Guss said. “And we rallied really well together at the end to come up with the win against Harvard.”
In sabre competition, Sophie Jones ’03 was undefeated, recording three points for Yale. After losing her first bout, Sarah McDonough ’03 was replaced in the sabre lineup by Meredith Hughes ’05, who sabred McDonough’s final two bouts. Hughes was also unable to add a point to the Yale scoreboard. Guss completed the sabre competition with a 2-1 record.
Erika Korb ’05 led off in epee for the Bulldogs. After defeating Harvard’s No. 1 and No. 2 epeeists, she fell in her final bout to finish 2-1 in the event. Captain Sarah Senk ’03, who competed with a strained Achilles, finished 1-2 and Candice Frost ’04 finished up the event for Yale. Katie Burghardt ’05 was unable to compete in either the Harvard or Princeton match because she was ill with mononucleosis.
Isadora Bwotnick ’06 also competed for the Bulldogs with an injury. Bwotnick tore her meniscus Feb. 5th in Yale’s match against the University of Pennsylvania. Bwotnick, Justine Aw ’06, and Katie Schemmer ’05 all fenced foil for Yale, but without much success. The Crimson have one of the Ivy League’s best foil squads, and it showed in Yale’s match as both Chloe Stinetorf and Anne Austin of Harvard were undefeated in the weapon.
The men’s narrow loss to Harvard was disheartening. With six bouts to go, Yale trailed 13-8. The Elis needed to win the rest of their bouts in order beat Harvard. The Bulldogs won the next five in a row but were unable to win the sixth to clinch the victory over their rival.
“It would have been nice to beat Harvard, especially since we thought we were better going in,” Cory Werk ’06 said. “But there were a lot of close bouts, and we showed a lot of character by coming from behind in the end.”
The foil squad performed well against the Crimson, with Daniel Senft ’03 winning all three of his bouts and Cory Werk ’06 winning two of his bouts. Nathan Elchert ’05 also competed at foil for the Bulldogs, adding one point to Yale’s score.
In epee, James Rohrbach ’04, Will Tauxe ’05 and Michael Alexander ’05 competed for the Bulldogs. Byron Igoe ’04, Luke Ferriera ’03 and Bobby Garcia ’06 comprised the starting sabre lineup for Yale. After fencing two bouts, Chris Sinay ’06 subbed in for Garcia to finish his final bout.
In the Bulldogs’ matches against Princeton, Jones attributed the women’s team’s loss partially to numerous injuries and illnesses.
“If we had a full, healthy team going into the weekend, I think we could have had a shot at beating Princeton as well,” Jones said. “But despite all of our weaknesses, we really pulled together in the end. We behaved more as a team than as individuals.”
The Bulldogs’ sabre squad finished 5-4 against the Tigers, with Jones winning two of her bouts.
In epee, Yale lost the weapon 5-4 to Princeton, despite Korb’s sweep of the event. Foil saw little success, coming away with only two points in the event.
The men’s team also shared similar results in each of the weapons against Princeton. Werk swept in foil to record three points for Yale, and Elchert also won a bout for the Elis. Sabre and epee finished 5-4 and 2-7 respectively.
After this past weekend, the women will finish their Ivy League season with a 2-3 record, while the men will round out their season with a 1-4 record in the Ancient Eight. The Bulldogs will send their top fencers to the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Tournament (IFAs) on March 1st. They will then prepare for the NCAA Regional Qualifier held at NYU on March 9th.