While heavy snow fell all over the Northeast, the men’s and women’s fencing teams were inside dueling their Ivy League opponents.
On Sunday in New York City at the second part of the Ivy League Championships, the women’s fencing team (12-6, 2-3 Ivy) beat both Brown (8-7, 1-5) and Cornell (7-7, 1-5) while the men’s team (4-11. 0-4) lost to the Bears (7-5, 1-4). Although the two teams’ results were different, both said they are looking forward to challenging Princeton, who was unable to make it to this weekend’s competition.
The women’s team turned around its season with two solid victories after falling to Penn, Harvard, and Columbia on Feb. 5. They defeated Cornell and Brown with scores of 19-8 and 18-9, respectively. The foil squad led the team, winning all but one bout. The epee and saber squads also performed strongly.
“As a team, I’m really glad we beat Cornell and Brown,” Carly Guss ’06 said.
In their match against Cornell, the Bulldogs came out on top in all of the weapons. Most notably, the foil squad secured an 8-1 victory with complete domination by Alisa Mendelsohn ’07 and Diana Schawlowski ’08. In the Saber, Guss’ 3-0 win and Erin Frey’s ’09 2-1 victory contributed to the squads’ 6-3 defeat.
“Carly fenced on top of her game as usual,” Frey said. “She was an animal out there.”
The epee squad also won, sneaking by with a 5-4 victory. Three of those wins came from Anne Nguyen ’07.
Results were just as favorable for the Bulldogs against the Bears. Mendelsohn, Schawlowski, and Jennifer Cohen ’09 all achieved 3-0 victories in the foil. Captain Isadora Botwinick ’06 and Nguyen, members of the epee squad, each finished with 2-1 scores. And both Frey and Guss also won 2-1 decisions, allowing the Bulldogs to secure their second triumph of the weekend.
“I put my all into it,” Guss said. “I am really pleased with how women’s saber did, especially in our 5-4 win over the Cornell squad. I am confident that we can still improve for our last Ivy meet against Princeton.”
Echoes of the desire to compete against Princeton came from the men’s team as well, especially after losing to the Bears 16-11 in a tough match.
The Elis topped the Bears in only one weapon, the epee. Even though they still have to face the Tigers, the Bulldogs have been unable to beat any of their other Ivy League opponents.
“It’s been a hard season,” said Michael Pearce ’09, who is the only freshman starter. “But I think we’re doing better than we were last season. We are coming together more.”
Pearce topped the Bears against whom he fenced with a score of 3-0 in the epee. Pearce has emerged as one of the top Ivy fencers in the epee, compiling a 10-2 overall record.
“Doing as well as I am really makes me proud of my accomplishments,” the rookie said.
The other members of Pearce’s squad, John Beski ’07 and Steve Miller ’09, both posted with 2-1 victories.
“We pulled our weight,” Beski said, referring to himself, Miller, and Pearce.
Though the saber squad fell 6-3, Matthew Chaiken ’08 nabbed two wins for his teammates. In foil, Cory Werk ’06 defeated Brown’s Toby Cohen, the only victory for his weapon.
“It seems everyone was trying very hard,” Beski said. “It just wasn’t as intense.”
The rescheduled matches against Princeton will be the Bulldogs’ last competition as a team. In the weeks that follow, the Elis will participate in personal contests in which team scores will not be totaled. Team members said they hope to qualify for NCAAs in these individual competitions.