FENCING: Bulldogs dominate at Philadelphia Invitational
The Yale men’s and women’s fencing teams collectively finished 5–4 last weekend as the women’s squad defeated national champions Notre Dame.
Yasmine Halmane, Photo Editor
With their only home meet of the season on the horizon this weekend, Yale’s fencing squads impressed at the Philadelphia Invitational last weekend.
The women’s fencing team shined at the meet, securing a victory against defending NCAA champions the University of Notre Dame. Their wins against New York University, Temple University and Wayne State University, and a solitary blemish versus Northwestern University in the last bout of the day, rounded out the team’s 4–1 record. On the other hand, the men’s team faced tough competition at the meet, but still came away with an impressive victory in their bout against Wayne State.
“This was the most ‘hype’ we’ve been for a meet, and bringing that energy onto the strip really allowed us to fight for our wins,” saber Stephanie Cao ’25 told the News. “I’m really proud of all of us and how much we can support and depend on each other.”
The women’s fencing team now holds a 14–2 overall record for the season. Barring two close bouts, the Bulldogs dominated their competition, defeating NYU 23–4, Temple 16–11 and Wayne State 24–3. Northwestern and Notre Dame provided tough competition, with both bouts being decided by a singular point. While Yale edged out Notre Dame, they came up short against Northwestern.
Fencers Emme Zhou ’23 and Cao went undefeated throughout the meet, winning each of their three bouts in foil and saber respectively. Zhou earned All-American last year at the NCAA Championships.
The weekend before, the Bulldogs posted a 4–1 record at the Penn State Invitational, with victories over Penn State University, Haverford College, the University of North Carolina and Temple University.
“We had just come out of winter training so everyone was really excited to fence on the strip [at the Penn State Invitational],” Helen Tan ’25 wrote to the News. “We have more competitions these next few weekends before heading into Ivies so I think everyone is doing a great job at preparing for Championships.”
Rookie foil fencer Olivia Ren ’26 underlined the continued support she has received from her teammates, explaining that she now had “a bunch of sisters” she could rely on.
She is one of three new members on the women’s team this year, alongside saber Nithya Guthikonda ’26 and epee Amanda O’Donnell ’26.
“I am so proud of our team! Everyone brought so much energy both on and off the strip, and we fought for every touch,” Ren wrote to the News. “We’ve been training so hard for this, and I think it really paid off, especially when we defeated Notre Dame!”
The men’s squad was unlucky in two competitive bouts with NYU and Ohio State University, losing both by 16–11. A highlight from the weekend was their 17–10 victory against Wayne State, in which the team won each weapon.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will host Sacred Heart University and Vassar College in New Haven in the Yale Invitational.
“[The Yale Invitational] is really exciting,” Cao told the News. “I can’t wait for our friends to be able to come and watch.”
The Yale Invitational will take place at the Payne Whitney Gymnasium.