NEW HAVEN, Conn. —The Yale women's fencing team will travel to Waltham, Mass., for the first team competition of the season where the Bulldogs will face Brandeis, St. John's, Air Force, Johns Hopkins, Boston College, and MIT.
Since the team's last competition at Garret Open, the fencers have been at work to prepare for the highly competitive opponents, particularly St. John's, a college fencing powerhouse.
"Everyone has been working really hard! The first multi-meet of the season is always a great time to test what we've been working on and to learn and improve," said captain Joanna Lew.
The Brandeis Invitational is the first meet of the year that counts for NCAA standing, and the women are up to the challenge. Team manager Lillie Lainoff said that the team is incredibly supportive, and she cannot wait to see this dynamic play out during the competition.
The structure of the team event differs from that of individual competition, in which the team last competed at Penn State. This weekend, each squad will have a chance to fence nine bouts, for a combined total of 27. Whichever school reaches 14 wins first is victorious.
"Brandeis should be a great opportunity to see the improvement that we've been working hard for since we've gotten back from Penn State. I think we were able to learn a lot from our mistakes there and I'm excited to see everyone's hard work come together," said saber squad captain Ilana Kamber.
Last year, the women beat Air Force, a traditionally strong program. The Bulldogs are apt to repeat the victory with this year's small but tight-knit squad. The freshmen fencers will use the competition to gain experience in a team competition, and are poised to contribute in a big way.
At the Garret Open, standout freshman Sarah Pak made Yale fencing history by placing second in the senior women's foil. The last Bulldog to make it into the championship round at the Garret Open was saber Sada Jacobson, a US Olympian.
Following the tournament this weekend, the team will then have a month-long break from competition to train, rest, and prepare for a dual meet at Penn State on January 16.
Report filed by Caroline Hart '17, Yale Sports Publicity.