March 22, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Yale's trip to NCAA Nationals over the weekend marked yet another development for the Bulldogs in what has been a season of big improvements. After finishing two spots higher in the Ivy League this year compared to last, the Bulldogs qualified three times as many fencers for Nationals. The three, Katharine Pitt, Rebecca Moss and Valeria Makeeva, traveled to University Park, Pa. this weekend to face the best collegiate fencers in the nation.
Last year, the Bulldogs finished sixteenth over-all at Nationals. Just one member of the women's fencing team, Lidia Gocheva, traveled to Columbus, Ohio, for the year-end event. Then-sophomore Gocheva finished twenty-third in the foil. Yale's fencers accumulated thirty-five total points in their sixteenth-place effort. Of those points, only four were contributed by the women's team. This year was a different story. The competition, hosted by Penn State, saw the women's fencing team contribute thirty-three of the sixty-eight points that put Yale in tenth place nationally.
Foilist Katharine Pitt was the highest finisher for Yale at this year's Nationals. After taking fifth place at Regionals, the New York City native imposed herself on the national scene with an eighth-place finish. The freshman's first trip to Nationals saw her take fifteen victories and post a 0.625 percentage of bouts won. Pitt scored eighty-seven touches and received eighty for an indicator of positive eight. Doris Willette of Penn State ended up winning the event.
Epeeist Rebecca Moss, who posted Yale's best results at Regionals with a third-place finish, ended her season in fourteenth at Nationals. The junior from Mesa, Ariz., recorded eleven victories (0.478). Her touches scored and touches received equaled each other (eighty-eight) to give her a neutral indicator. Her finish contributed eleven points to Yale's total of sixty-eight. Anastasia Ferdman of Penn State won the event.
Freshman Valeria Makeeva's seven victories (0.292) put her in twenty-first place in the foil event. The Roswell, Ga., native scored seventy-two touches and received ninety-nine for a negative twenty-seven indicator. Makeeva and Pitt's finishes in the foil contributed twenty-two points to Yale's final score.
More information on the NCAA Fencing Championships can be found on the NCAA website. Highlights from the competition will be broadcast on CBS at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 2.
Report filed by Dominique Fenton '10, Yale Sports Publicity