Bulldogs Head to First Ivy Test

Feb. 6, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - On Sunday Yale will head to the first of two competitions that will eventually crown the 2009 Ivy League Champion. The competition, hosted by Columbia in New York, N.Y., will be an opportunity for the Bulldogs to improve on last year's 0-6 Ivy record. The Bulldogs head to Columbia's Levien Gymnasium with a 9-4 record for the season.

Yale will face host and powerhouse Columbia first at 11 a.m. Most recently, at the NYU Invitational, the Lions defeated a solid Northwestern squad, 16-11. They followed that up by edging Notre Dame, 14-13. Columbia also defeated Ohio State 17-10 and Wayne State 26-1. At the same event, Northwestern outlasted Yale, 18-9. The Bulldogs fell to Notre Dame, which finished second at the NCAA Championship last year, 4-23. Ohio State, last year's national champions, gave Yale a 3-24 defeat. Against Wayne State Yale posted a 25-2 victory.

Earlier in the season at the St. John's Invitational, Columbia defeated St. John's, 20-7. The Bulldogs met St. John's at Brandeis on Dec. 7 and lost, 11-16. Columbia went 6-0 at last year's Ivy League Championships to claim the title.

"This is going to be a challenging competition, but I am convinced that if we manage to concentrate and show our best fencing we will achieve good results," said Yale captain Lidia Gocheva of the Ivy Championships. Last year Columbia claimed 26 of 27 bouts against Yale, with then-sophomore saberist, Gocheva, winning the Bulldogs' only bout.

At last year's Ivy Championships, Rebecca Moss (epee) won 12 out of 15 bouts and was named to the first team All-Ivy. Gocheva (foil) won 12 out of 18 bouts and was named to the second team All-Ivy.

At 1 p.m., Yale will face Brown. The Bears are 12-4 for the season and at the Brandeis Invitational, Brown went 2-2. They scored a pair of 16-11 wins over MIT and Boston College, and narrowly dropped the match to Brandeis by a final score of 14-13. The Bears also lost to St. John's. At the same invitational, Yale was victorious against Boston College (14-10), Brandeis (14-13) and MIT (16-11), but failed to win against St. John's. Yale's match against Brown this Sunday will, no doubt, be a close one.

The Bulldogs will close the day will a 2:45 p.m. match against Harvard. The Crimson fencers are 14-1 for the season. Harvard handled Ohio State, 17-10, and doubled up St. John's, 18-9, at the St. John's Invitational on Jan. 24. The Crimson defeated Sacred Heart, 22-5 and took care of Boston College, 20-7, MIT, 22-5, and Brandeis, 20-7.

Starting Squads:

Foil:
Lidia Gocheva
Valeria Makeeva
Katharine Pitt

Epee:
Rebecca Moss
Abigail Fraeman
Tasha Garcia

Sabre:
Katherine Arden
Farrah Kimovec
Jennifer Ivers

Yale will fence the remaining Ivy teams, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Cornell, on Feb. 22 in Providence, R.I.

Report filed by Dominique Fenton '10, Yale Sports Publicity