Competing against some of the top-ranked teams in the nation, the Yale men’s and women’s fencing teams came away with a mixed bag of results this weekend at the NYU Invitational.
“We faced some of our toughest competition of the season at the NYU Invitational, and the Yale team stepped up to the challenge,” women’s team captain Lauren Miller ’15 said. “I was particularly impressed by the way several of our members were able to manage injuries and keep fighting for wins.”
In a repeat of last season’s performances, the men’s team claimed wins against NYU and Wayne State while falling to No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Ohio State. The women’s team also bested the Bobcats and Warriors on Sunday in Jersey City, New Jersey, as they did during the 2014 season. But the Bulldogs were unable to topple No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 5 Ohio State at the Invitational, losing to the Fighting Irish and the Buckeyes along with No. 9 Northwestern.
The men had a particularly strong showing in saber, where they edged out NYU 14–13 and went 6–3 against Wayne State. Among the saber squad members, men’s team captain Hugh O’Cinneide ’15 and Ian Richards ’17 both had two wins against the Bobcats, while Reed Srere ’17 recorded a clean sweep with three victories.
Srere noted that the Bulldogs were happy to have pulled out a win against a saber team that defeated them the previous year. Like other members of both the women’s and men’s teams, Srere acknowledged that he has had to battle injuries while competing this season.
“I’ve been fencing with a pretty serious injury, but I think I’ve managed to control it in a way that allows me to still help the team,” Srere said. “What worries me about my performance is that the two bouts I dropped were against a tough Notre Dame squad and once we get to Ivy [play], a lot of the fencers will be fencing at that level and being hurt could easily be the deciding factor between a win and a loss.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team notched a decisive 18–9 victory against NYU, claiming 7–2 victories in both saber and foil. They went on to beat Wayne State 18–9 as well, going undefeated in the epee competition. Walk-on Alicia Borja Alvarez ’17, who saw her first collegiate action just last weekend at Vassar, continued to impress by winning all of her bouts against the Warriors.
Despite losing to Notre Dame, Miller had a strong performance in the epee competition along with Katharine Spooner ’16. Rae Na Lee ’18 also shined against Wayne State in the foil competition, despite the Bulldogs dropping that matchup 3–6.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs will host their only home meet of the season, against Sacred Heart. Members of both teams noted that they looked forward to competing at home.
“One of my favorite memories of last season was fencing Sacred Heart at home,” Richards said. “The room is shaking with the noise and amount of people who pack in to watch, and it makes for a really invigorating environment to fence in. There’s nothing like it.”
The competition begins this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Payne Whitney.