Bulldogs Add Three Fencers

The Yale women's fencing huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Trio of East Coast Fencers Join Team

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale women's fencing team will welcome three freshmen—Olivia Briffault, Lillie Lainoff and Joanna Lew—when it starts up competition again in the fall.

The trio of fencers will join a young and energetic team led by junior Lauren Miller and long-time coach Henry Harutunian. They will have to step into the shoes left by graduates in the class of 2013, Madeline Oliver and Robyn Shaffer, who both captained the team in recent years.

The freshmen bring a collection of experience and past performances, however, that bode well for the Bulldogs, who will be looking to build upon results this past season.

A New York native, Briffault fences epee and foil and attended Hunter College High School. There, she captained a team that won four consecutive city championships. In addition, she finished in fourth place at the December Division II NAC and fenced at the 2011 Vienna European Maccabi games and the 2013 Israel Maccabi Games.

Lainoff, meanwhile, hails from Washington, D.C., and attended Woodrow Wilson High School. She fences saber at the DC Fencers Club and recorded a seventh-place finish at the Division II summer nationals and a 20th-place finish at the Division IA summer nationals.

A fellow saber fencer, Lew arrives at Yale from Durham, N.C., and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She started fencing at eight years old and has trained extensively at the Mid-South Fencer's Club. She began competing nationally in ninth grade and after 10TH grade, finished third in Juniors at summer nationals. In her junior year, she finished 24th individually at a Cadet World Cup in London and second in team at the Cadet World Cup in Godollo, Hungary. Last year she finished in the top 32 at a Division I NAC.

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