March 3, 2013

Bulldogs Finish Competition at Ivy Championship

Losses to Cornell and Brown on Sunday

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — It was a tough conclusion to the season for the Yale women's fencing team, which wrapped up the Mar. 2-3 Ivy League Championship on Sunday with a 0-6 win record.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs fell to Cornell, 19-8, and Brown, 16-11, here at Harvard's Albert H. Gordon Track. Those results followed a difficult Saturday in which Yale fell to Penn, Harvard, Columbia and Princeton.

"This Ivies was tough, to be sure. It's never more apparent than at the Ivy Tournament how much difference the level of recruiting makes; there are some teams we just can't compete against. But we can try hard, fight for each point, and be happy for each good touch and each bout we win," said senior captain Robyn Shaffer. "That's what we did against Brown; we had just lost to Cornell, but we picked it back up and kept fighting."

The tough competition on the strip did not prevent several Yale fencers from posting top-16 individual performances. The Bulldogs' best performance of the meet was freshman Katherine Miller, who put up a 10th-place finish in epee competition. Senior Madeline Oliver finished 15th in saber competition, sophomore Lauren Miller put up a 15th-place finish in foil, while Shaffer and junior Alison Barton also finished in 15th in epee.

"I'm proud of everyone for sticking together during a tough weekend. Everyone puts 100 percent effort in, everybody supports each other and cheers for each other, rather than collapsing into frustration or scapegoating," said Shaffer. "If you can go out there every bout as a team, you can enjoy the weekend and have a positive team experience no matter what."

The conclusion of the Ivy League Championship marks the end of the Bulldogs' season, although several fencers have advanced individually to next weekend's NCAA Regional competition on the basis of their strong performances throughout the season.

"We've worked hard all season, and I don't want a poor result at Ivies to devalue that," Shaffer said. "It's a great group of girls, and we're looking towards Regionals as another chance to show how hard we've worked."

Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.