NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's fencing team is preparing to participate in the first ever US Squad Championships this Sunday, February 27. The tournament will be hosted by NYU and will feature the top 24 fencing programs in the country.
In their last time out on the strip, the Bulldogs put together an amazing performance and came just short of winning the Ivy League Championship. Yale came into the tournament unranked and proceeded to beat the no. 6, 7, and 8 ranked teams in the country before losing to Harvard (no. 2) by only one touch. The Elis will look to build upon that performance against other top ranked teams on Sunday.
The format of the US Squad Championships will be a bit different from other college fencing competitions. Under normal college fencing rules there are nine bouts to five points, per weapon. This weekend's events will use "rally scoring" to 45. Each squad will be allowed three fencers and one substitute. The fencers on each squad will fence all of their opponents. The first matchup will go to five points, the next will keep the same score and go to 10 and so on, until the final matchup goes to 45. This format means that large comebacks are possible if one team's strongest fencer is significantly stronger than the opposing team's strongest fencer.
"However, we're banking on our squads being very balanced," noted captain Jonathan Holbrook, "so instead of relying on one fencer to save the day, we'll be emphasizing not allowing our opponents huge runs at any point during the match, and steadily grinding them down."
Report By Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity