December 7, 2008

Yale Sweeps Brandeis Invitational

Dec. 7, 2008

WALTHAM, Mass. - The Yale men's fencing team imposed itself on Sunday by sweeping the Brandeis Invitational. The event was the Bulldogs' first team competition of the season and saw Yale defeat Brandeis and St. John's for the first time in four years.

Nine Yale fencers, making up three squads by weapon, traveled to Waltham, Mass. to face teams from Boston College, Saint John's, Brandeis and MIT. Each fencer fenced all three members of the opposing team in his weapon class. Each weapon squad thus fenced nine bouts. The winner was determined by the total twenty-seven bouts.

Captain Michael Pearce on the day's results: "I am ecstatic with today's results. This is the first time in my four years at Yale that we have beaten either Brandeis or St. Johns."

Team manager Andrew Holbrook added, "Throughout the day, the team demonstrated why we have been so excited for this coming season. This was our first team competition and everyone was very supportive of their teammates."

Yale started out the morning by posting a 16-11 victory against Boston College.

Sabre: 0-9
Adam Fields (0-3)
Sebastian Cano-Besquet (0-3)
Stephen Watty (0-3)

Epee: 8-1
Michael Pearce (3-0)
Alexander Cohen (2-1)
Thomas Bell (3-0)

Foil: 8-1
John Gurrieri (3-0)
Andrew Holbrook (2-1)
Nathaniel Botwinick (3-0)

Against St. John's, the Bulldogs won 15-12. Pearce, on the victory, noted: "I am overjoyed that we beat St. Johns and we beat them as a result of a tremendous effort from all three squads. We maintained focus throughout the day which was evident because we won all of our matches before the last bout and each one by at least two bouts."

Sabre: 2-7
Adam Fields (1-2)
Jonathan Holbrook (1-2)
Stephen Watty (0-3)

Foil: 7-2
John Gurrieri (2-1)
Andrew Holbrook (2-1)
Nathaniel Botwinick (3-0)

Epee: 6-3
Alexander Cohen (2-1)
Michael Pearce (2-1)
Thomas Bell (2-1)

Versus Brandeis, Yale pulled off a 17-10 victory. Pearce, on the victory: "I knew that this year we could beat Brandeis and it's great that we beat them by the largest margin of any of the four schools."

Sabre: 3-6
Jonathan Holbrook (2-1)
Sebastian Cano-Besquet (0-2)
Stephen Watty (0-1),
Adam Fields (1-2)

Foil: 8-1
Andrew Holbrook (3-0)
John Gurrieri (3-0)
Nathaniel Botwinick (2-1)

Epee: 6-3
Michael Pearce (2-0)
Thomas Bell (1-2)
Alexander Cohen (2-1)
Bo Qu (1-0)

The Bulldogs then beat MIT 15-12.

Sabre: 5-4
Jonathan Holbrook (3-0)
Sebastian Cano-Besquet (0-2)
Adam Fields (2-1)
Stephen Watty (0-1)

Foil: 6-3
Andrew Holbrook (2-1)
John Gurrieri (1-2)
Nathaniel Botwinick (3-0)

Epee: 4-5
Michael Pearce (2-1)
Thomas Bell (1-2)
Alexander Cohen (1-2)

Pearce noted, "This year is also the first that we've started 4-0 and I know that this is because of how hard we have been working so far all season. The returning fencers showed great determination and leadership and the freshman showed how much they will contribute to the team this year."

Holbrook also remarked on the performance of the freshmen. "It was fantastic to see the freshmen stepping up and performing well," he noted. "Especially Alex Cohen and Jonathan Holbrook who has switched to fencing saber. Freshmen Adam Fields and Jonathan Holbrook brought in some of the key victories."

Pearce concluded, "This is a fantastic start to the season and I know that these victories will keep us motivated to train as hard for the rest of the season."

Report filed by Dominique Fenton '10, Yale Sports Publicity