Feb. 8, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs enter the league portion of their schedule Sunday as they head to Philadelphia, Pa. for Part I of the Ivy League 2007 Fencing Championships. Yale will first take on Penn, Brown and Columbia before facing Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell on February 25th. The team goes into the weekend with a 10-4 record in dual meets.
The format of the Championships, for only the second year, will be a two-day round robin in which every team in the league will come face to face. The team that emerges with the best record will be crowned champion. In the past, Ivy foes had met in dual meets throughout the season. The consolidated format makes for a more exciting and demanding end to the dual meet season.
But the Bulldogs are not new to facing multiple opponents in one day. At the Brandeis Invitational, the NYU Invitational, and most recently at Vassar on February 3rd, Yale fenced a series of dual meets. At the Brandeis Invitational the Bulldogs posted a 3-1 record, beating Brandeis, Boston College and MIT. At Vassar, the team managed wins versus the hosts and Marist. The 27-0 win against Marist was the most convincing of the season.
Thus, the Bulldogs seem to be hitting their stride just in time. As it has all season, the team will rely on the foil squad to set the tone. Freshman Lidia Gocheva, junior Diana Schawlowski and senior Alisa Mendelsohn have provided timely victories to pace Yale's success. At Brandeis on December 3rd, the foilists won 30 of their 36 bouts. In a dual meet with Sacred Heart on January 31st, all three Bulldogs were undefeated in a 21-6 Yale victory.
The epee squad has struggled of late but did win six of nine bouts in a 21-6 victory over NYU to start the season. The squad boasts a great deal of experience, including seniors Anne Nguyen and Tejas Srinivas, which will be necessary against some of the nation's top teams.
The sabre squad has also performed well at different points during the season. Against Rutgers on January 27th, a meet which Yale won 16-11, Yale saberists won seven bouts, with senior Genevieve Tauxe going undefeated.
But the Ivy League is one of the most competitive conferences in all of college fencing. Brown (17-3), Columbia (8-0), Cornell (10-1), Harvard (7-1), Penn (13-2) and Princeton (7-2) all come in with strong records and high expectations. Therefore, the Bulldogs will be playing the role of underdogs.
Live results will be accessible throughout the weekend at the Ivy League's fencing blog-- engardeivy.blogspot.com.
Report filed by Nicholas Thorne '08, Yale Sports Publicity