Bid for Ivy Title Comes Up Just Short

The 2011 Ivy League Fencing Championships.
The 2011 Ivy League Fencing Championships.

PRINCETON, N.J. - The Yale men's fencing team lost a heart-breaker to Harvard Sunday afternoon, 14-13, in a match that decided the Ivy League Championship. The Bulldogs and the Crimson both entered the match with perfect records for the weekend, as Yale had beaten Columbia and Brown on Saturday, then defeated Penn and Princeton on Sunday.

Before arriving at the decisive final meet against Harvard, Yale had to string together two impressive wins against Penn and Princeton. Penn won the Ivy League with a perfect 5-0 record two years ago, and Princeton accomplished the same feat last season. Yet the Bulldogs fenced to their potential, defeating Penn 15-12 on the strength of their epee and foil squads. Against Princeton, Yale also fought through a nailbiter, eventually prevailing by a final score of 14-13.

The ensuing showdown with Harvard would decide the champion and it came down to the wire. The epee competition decided the match. Yale held a 13-12 lead on the Crimson after a win by freshman Cornelius Saunders, who earned the Most Outstanding Rookie Award. But Harvard won the last two to claim the title.

Saunders, sophomore Nathaniel Benzimra and senior Nathaniel Botwinick all earned All-Ivy honors for the Bulldogs while junior Shiv Kachru was named second team All-Ivy. Saunders led all epeeists with a 13-2 record and a 0.867 winning percentage. Peter Cohen also placed among the epee leaders with an 8-7 record and a 0.533 winning percentage. Benzimra was tied for the second best record (11-4) among all saberists with a 0.733 winning percentage. Colin Mills finished 8th with a record of 8-7 and a 0.533 winning percentage. Among the foilists, Botwinick tied for second place with an 11-4 record and a 0.733 winning percentage. Kachru was right behind him with a 10-4 record and a 0.714 winning percentage. Captain Jonathan Holbrook finished seventh among foilists with a 9-5 record and a 0.643 winning percentage.

Yale's epee and saber squads both posted 3-2 records, while its powerful foil squad finished 4-1 overall. The foilists lost only to Princeton in a tightly contested 4-5 clash.

More results are available here.


Final Team Standings
1. Harvard, 5-0
2. Yale, 4-1
3. Penn, 3-2
4. Princeton, 2-3
5. Brown, 1-4
6. Columbia, 0-5

2011 Award Winners
Men's Most Outstanding Performer: Alexander Mills (Princeton, Foil, 13-2)
Men's Most Outstanding Rookie: Cornelius Saunders (Yale, Epee, 13-2)

Men's First Team All-Ivy
Cornelius Saunders (Yale, 13-2)
Mike Raynis (Harvard, 12-3)
Alen Hadzic (Columbia, 10-5)

Alexander Mills (Princeton, 13-2)
Alex Pensler (Columbia, 11-4)
Nathaniel Botwinick (Yale, 11-4)

Thomas Kolasa (Harvard, 13-2)
Evan Prochniak (Penn, 11-4)
Nate Benzimra (Yale, 11-4)

Men's Second Team All-Ivy
James Hawrot (Harvard, 9-5)
Jonathan Yergler (Princeton, 9-5)
Ben White (Harvard, 8-5)
Clifford Fishler (Penn, 8-5)

Shiv Kachru (Yale, 10-4)
Bo Charles (Columbia, 10-5)
Zane Grodman (Penn, 10-5)

Eric Arzoian (Harvard, 10-5)
Valentin Staller (Harvard, 10-5)
John Stogin (Princeton, 9-6)

Complete Team Results
Round 1
Yale def. Columbia, 19-8
Harvard def. Penn, 16-11

Round 2
Princeton def. Brown, 20-7
Penn def. Columbia, 15-12

Round 3
Harvard def. Princeton, 17-10
Yale def. Brown, 19-8

Round 4
Princeton def. Columbia, 19-8
Yale def. Penn, 15-12
Harvard def. Brown, 22-5

Round 5
Harvard def. Coumbia, 18-9
Penn def. Brown, 20-7

Round 6
Yale def. Princeton, 14-13
Brown def. Columbia, 15-12

Round 7
Penn def. Princeton, 15-12
Harvard def. Yale, 14-13