NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Having finished up its regular season with the United States Collegiate Championships, the Yale women's fencing team will now set its sights to the NCAA National Championships. The tournament is an individual competition, which names a national champion for each of the three weapons. . The journey beings on Sunday with NCAA Northeast Regional Championships, hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. This weekend's results, in conjunction with overall season results, will determine the qualifiers for the National Championships, which will be held at Ohio State University in two weeks.
"This weekend will be a good opportunity for our fencers to showcase their individual skills," said captain Maddie Oliver, "and of course we'll still be supporting and cheering each other on every step of the way."
Fencers qualify to participate in the NCAA Regional Championship based on their record during the regular season. In order to qualify, a fencer needs to have fenced at least 21 bouts against at least nine different schools. Of all these regular season bouts, a fencer must have won at least 25 percent of them. A school in the Northeast Region may qualify any number of fencers, though it is only allowed to send up to three fencers per weapon to the competition, for a total of nine. Seeding for the tournament is determined based on regular season performance.
Yale has qualified seven fencers, but only six will be competing this weekend.
The format for the tournament will be as follows. The fencers will initially be divided into groups of six or seven, after which they will compete in successive pools with elimination until a final group of 12 fencers is reached for each weapon class. The winner will then be determined from those final twelve fencers, after they compete in a round-robin of five touch bouts. Only two fencers from each weapon may move on to the National Championships.
Report by Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity