In a week of demanding competition, the women’s fencing team narrowly lost to Brandeis and pulled off two team wins in a tri-meet in upstate New York. Unfortunately, at the New York University Invitational, the Bulldogs failed to sustain the momentum.

Brandeis managed to edge out Yale on Jan. 21 in Waltham, Massachusetts. On Saturday in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Yale beat Vassar 20-7 and Rutgers 17-10.ÊIn Manhattan the following day, the Elis lost to Notre Dame, Ohio State and host NYU, managing to beat only Stanford.Ê

The results of the Brandeis competition were disappointing, as they seemed to mirror the 14-13 loss to NYU Dec. 2.

Yale’s foil squad, currently the strongest group, bested Brandeis, 7-2. In the saber, it was Brandeis who dominated, 7-2. The match was narrowly decided by Brandeis’s 5-4 epee victory.Ê

“I was disappointed at our loss to Brandeis,” captain Erica Korb ’05 said, “I think that like our meet against NYU, no one was fencing as well as they should have been.”

A team wins a fencing match if they claim the majority of 27 bouts. Three fencers from each squad fence three bouts each, for a total of nine bouts per group.ÊThe winning squad is the group that wins the majority of these nine bouts.Ê

The Bulldogs managed to recover a few days later, commanding wins at Saturday’s competition against Vassar and against Rutgers.

Historically, Vassar has lost to the Elis, but a win against Rutgers was less certain due to the Scarlet Knights’ core of talented fencers.ÊYale’s young team continued to prove that it is getting stronger.ÊFoil fencers Alisa Mendelsohn ’07 and Katharine Schemmer ’05 each won all six of their bouts against the two schools, helping the foil squad to earn a 9-0 sweep against Vassar and a 7-2 victory against Rutgers.ÊSaberists Carly Guss ’06 and Justine Aw ’07 also swept their bouts, aiding in the 7-2 saber win over Vassar and 6-3 win over Rutgers.ÊDespite Korb’s 3-0 shutout against the Scarlet Knights, the epee squad lost 5-4 to both Vassar and Rutgers.ÊThis was still a good performance for the least experienced of the three squads.

The twin victories were a great confidence booster for the Elis, as they faced much tougher opponents the next day at NYU.Ê

Starting at 5:30 Sunday morning, the Bulldogs faced Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and St. Johns at the NYU Invitational.ÊAlthough Yale lost to three of these schools, they did salvage a win against Stanford. The Elis entered the competition not expecting to gain any victories, given the fact they were facing Notre Dame and Ohio State, two of the nation’s top teams.

A standout performance for the Bulldogs came from Zane Selkirk ’04, a senior coming back after a yearlong hiatus due to injuries.ÊSelkirk, previously a foil fencer, returned fencing epee in order to help the inexperienced squad. On Sunday, competing against some of the strongest fencers in the nation with a weapon that was new to her, Selkirk obtained a 6-6 record.Ê

“Overall I think Sunday was a success in that we fenced a lot of tough schools and not only came out of it with a lot more competitive experience, but a win,” Korb said.