March 10, 2010

Eight Bulldogs Head To NCAA Regionals

Eight Yale fencers head to Providence, R.I., this Sunday for the NCAA Regional Tournament. The competition at Brown will determine which fencers head to the national tournament later this month. Heading to Providence from Yale are epeeists Rebecca Moss, Madeline Buxton and Tasha Garcia, saberists Katherine Arden, Jennifer Ivers and Madeline Oliver and foilists Katharine Pitt and Zoe Engelman.

Fencers at NCAA Regionals are divided into pools of six or seven. In every pool each fencer fences every other fencer. After each pool is finished fencing, the fencers are ranked based on their win-loss record and the number of touches they scored per bout. The bottom 30% based on this ranking system is then eliminated until there are about twelve fencers left. The final pool consists of these twelve fencers. Per weapon, about eight fencers will qualify for NCAA Nationals. The top eight are determined by their performance that day (60%), and their record for the overall season (40%).

Captain Rebecca Moss commented on how the format of the tournament extremely competitive.

“In the pools each bout consists of only five touches with a three minute time limit. If you have a couple bad bouts you're out,” she noted.

“In order to safely move on, each fencer must win the majority of their pool bouts. This makes it imperative to recover from bad bouts quickly,” she added. “The tournament will last the entire day so endurance is also key.”

At last year’s Regionals, Moss led the Bulldogs with a third-place finish in epee. Foilist Katharine Pitt took fifth and also qualified for Nationals. Saberists Jennifer Ivers and Katherine Arden took eighteenth and twenty-first, respectively. This will be the first Regionals for freshmen Madeline Buxton, Madeline Oliver and Zoe Egelman.

NCAA Nationals will take place the Mar. 25-26 weekend in Cambridge, Mass.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity.