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Bulldogs Kick Off Season This Weekend At Penn State Open

Bulldogs Kick Off Season This Weekend At Penn State Open

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The women's fencing team, which opens its season this weekend, is bolstered by four new members this year. Joining the epée squad are two first-year recruits, Joy Ma of Merrick, N.Y., and Shirley Wang of Toronto, Canada. Ma and Wang bring extensive experience to the squad, and both are formidable opponents to practice against in preparation for competition. Grace Baghdadi, a first-year walk-on from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, stepped into an open position on the foil squad, allowing Yale to boast a full squad for the coming season. Yoanna Lazarova, a sophomore walk-on from Sofia, Bulgaria, is a similarly welcome addition to the saber squad, allowing them the flexibility to use alternates in their lineup.

As the team moves out of captain's practice and starts the official season training under legendary head coach Henry Harutunian and assistant coach Haibin Wang, the Bulldogs are looking forward to putting a strong foot forward at the Garret Open. An individual competition, the Garret Open provides an opportunity for the team to engage with other top collegiate fencers from several rival schools early in the season.

Last year, junior Michelle Li placed seventh in epée, and junior Michelle Nam and senior Lucy Friedmann finished in the top 20. In foil, senior captain Sarah Pak brought home third place and sophomore Camille Pham and junior Anna Zhou finished in the top 20. Saber fencers Lauren Kim, Francesca Fedorovsky and Mary Barnett, all sophomores, likewise finished in the top 20. Given this performance last year and improvement since then, the team anticipates strong results this weekend.

Live results are available for this Saturday's competition, which is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


report by Jacqueline Hayre-Pérez '21, Yale Sports Publicity