No. 10 Elis to Host Ivy League Championships

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Nathaniel Benzimra. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Look to Overcome Heartbreak Last Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – At last year's Ivy League Championship, the title came down to just one match — the Yale men's fencing team fell to Harvard in the final bout, losing 14-13. The No. 10 Bulldogs hope to avenge that result this year at the Feb. 11-12 Ivy League Championships, hosted at home at Coxe Cage for the first time. 

"Last year, we were within one touch of winning the Ivy League Championship," senior captain Shiv Kachru said. "It was the closest margin one could possibly lose by, and it was a heartbreaker for our team."

This year, the Elis enter the Ivy League Championship stronger for the experience.

"I do think that the loss [last year] made us even hungrier as a team this year, as we have worked to improve ourselves from last year and make the right adjustments to be successful this year," Kachru said. 

And the team has the momentum of a duo of wins last weekend: Yale beat out Vassar, 20-7, and Drew, 24-3, in a double-header at Payne Whitney Gymnasium on Feb. 4.

Those strong results, along with the anticipated strong home crowd support, will propel the Bulldogs through the two days of competition. Fencing will commence at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, but the Elis' first round of bouts is at 12:30 p.m. against Brown. Following that match, Yale will take on Harvard. 

Then, on Sunday, the Elis will open fencing at 10:00 a.m. against Princeton. The Elis face Penn and Columbia after the lunch break, with the hope that by the end of the day's competition, they will be in a position to clinch the tournament.

 "The Ivy League Championship is stacked with great teams, so it will certainly be a challenge." Kachru said. "But we have worked so hard this year just for this one moment, and we are ready to embrace the challenge."
To provide some perspective on the competition, the Elis were ranked No. 10 in a recent poll of collegiate fencing coaches, while Princeton were ranked at No. 2, Harvard at No. 3 and Penn at No. 7.

At last year's Ivy League Championship, Yale beat out Columbia, 19-8, Brown, 19-8, Penn, 15-12 and Princeton 14-13 to finish second overall. Still, those results earned several team members accolades: sophomore Cornelius Saunders took home the Most Outstanding Rookie Award, while junior Nathaniel Benzimra made the first team All Ivy and Kachru earned second team All Ivy honors.

Tickets for the Ivy League Championship can be purchased at the door. A day pass costs $5 for adults and $3 for students. A weekend pass costs $8 for adults and $5 for students.

See here for further information.

See here for directions to Coxe Cage.

See here for Shuttle Bus schedules to Coxe Cage.

Report filed by James Lu '14, Yale Sports Publicity.

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