Yale Athletics

With nine wins and a single loss between them, Yale’s men’s and women’s fencing teams finished their last meet of 2022 on a high.

The Bulldogs competed at their first team competition of the season at the Brandeis Invitational last Sunday. The women’s fencing team finished with a perfect record, convincingly winning each of their six matchups by an average margin of 15. Ranked No. 11 in the nation, the men’s fencing team also impressed in their four bouts, winning against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, St. John’s University and host Brandeis University.

“Honestly I think we all did really amazing,” saber Stephanie Cao ’25 told the News. “We were all giving 110 percent on the strip and it paid off, plus it was really wholesome to see us get so hype together.”

The women’s fencing team displayed their NCAA Tournament ambitions for the season with a dominant performance in Boston. The Blue and White hope to better last season’s ninth place finish at the NCAA Championship

Entering the meet ranked 11 nationally, the Bulldogs posted some big wins, beating both No. 13 St. John’s and beating the meet’s host Brandeis on their home pitch.

“It was so nice to see all of our hard work pay off … [and to] hear so many cheers from my teammates when I was fencing,” said Helen Tan ’25. “We’re continuing to keep [our effort] up as the season progresses. I’m looking forward to competing and can’t wait to travel with this amazing group of people!”

The women’s fencing team also made use of the occasion of the season’s first team competition to introduce the rookies to the team cheer. 

The three debutantes across all three weapons were saber Nithya Guthikonda ’26, epee Amanda O’Donnell ’26 and foil Olivia Ren ’26. 

“I’m so proud of our first years,” said Tan. “They did so well and are easily some of the people that are most ready for the season ahead of us.”

The men’s fencing team saw similar success in their four bouts, with their sole defeat coming at the hands of Boston College.

Each bout at the meet consisted of three rounds, with nine match-ups in each of sabre, foil and epee.

The Bulldogs won three close bouts against MIT, Brandeis and St. John’s. Each bout was separated by a score less than five. The team entered the third and final round of each bout with a deficit but still managed to come away with come-from-behind victories.

“The major highlight was the men’s victory against St. John’s, the strongest opposition there,” said Cameron Greene ’24. “Down 13-10 with 4 bouts to go, we won all 4 on demand, with Ted [Vinnitchouk ’24] securing the 14-13 victory. Everyone went crazy.”

The Bulldogs are now off from competition until the Penn State Invitational on Jan. 15.

Following the Penn State Invitational, they will be squaring off again in Pennsylvania at the Philadelphia Invitational at Penn, before hosting the Yale Invitational on Jan. 28.

“We definitely have established a strong beginning for our season,” said Cao. “We just have to keep working hard and bring the same if not more energy to the next meet.”

The women’s team was ranked No. 12 in the end-of-season coaches’ poll in 2022.