NEW HAVEN, Conn. In their first official team competition of the year, the women's fencing team defeated all five challengers - BC, Brandeis, Saint John's, UNC, and MIT - at the Brandeis Invitational.
The morning opened with the first round against BC, against whom Yale won 16-11, consistent with last year's 17-10 finish. First-year Shirley Wang went undefeated in epée, with an impressive +11 indicator. Junior Anna Zhou and sophomore Lauren Kim went undefeated in foil and saber respectively, with Kim carrying the entirety of the saber squad's wins. Epée, foil, and saber squads finished with 7-2, 6-3, and 3-6 bouts won respectively.
After a bye in the second round, the Bulldogs faced off against Brandeis. Senior Lucy Friedmann fenced in a starting position for epée, remaining undefeated for the entirety of the round. First-years Joy Ma and Wang filled the remaining two positions, adding sophomore India Bhalla-Ladd for the final bout. Their combined efforts yielded a total score of eight victories and a single loss for the epée squad. In foil, sophomore Camille Pham went undefeated, and all three starters -- Zhou, Pham and Pak -- contributed to foil squad's impressive 7-2 win. In saber, Kim went undefeated for a second time, again carrying the entirety of the squad's winning bouts. The final score stood at 18-9, relatively consistent with last year's impressive 21-6 victory.
At the end of the lunch break, the team edged out a narrow 14-13 victory against Saint John's. In epée, Ma went undefeated, scoring the winning touches on two close 5-4 bouts. In saber, sophomore walk-on Yoanna Lazarova won her first bout of the day, and junior walk-on Samantha Wood likewise won her first bout of the day. Starters Lazarova, Wood, and Kim each brought home a victory for their squad in this round. The foil squad narrowly lost 5-4, but epeé's 7-2 victory more than made up that slight margin.
In another closely contested round, the Bulldogs defeated UNC 14-13, consistent with last year's two 14-13 victories. Ma would again go undefeated, and the epée squad again finished with a 7-2 victory fiercely earned by starters Ma, junior Michelle Nam, and Wang. In a reversal from the prior round, starters Pak, Zhou, and Pham would edge out a narrow 5-4 victory for foil. Kim earned saber's two winning bouts, maintaining her individual focus while simultaneously providing leadership for the squad.
For the sixth and final round of the day, Yale won against MIT 17-10. The foil squad emerged victorious with a 9-0 finish, the first of the day for any squad and a fine finish for Pak, Zhou, and Pham. Epée finished 6-3, and saber finished 7-2.
The excellent results for a hard-earned day count towards both Yale's team record and individual fencers' NCAA results. For the second year in a row, the women's fencing team swept the tournament, defeating all five of its opponents.
report by Jacqueline Hayre-Pérez '21, Yale Sports Publicity