Feb. 1, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale will welcome the entire Ivy League to New Haven Sunday, as it hosts the first of two days of round robin fencing to determine the 2008 Ivy League Champion. At 5-7 on the year, the Bulldogs will face Penn, Harvard, Brown and Cornell on Sunday, before taking on Columbia and Princeton on Feb. 10 in Princeton, N.J.
In only its third year of an experimental round robin format, the Ivy League Fencing Championships will pit every team in the league against each other face to face. The team that emerges with the best record will be crowned champion. In the past, Ivy foes had met in dual meets throughout the season. This consolidated format makes for a more exciting and demanding end to the dual meet season.
Senior captain, Erin Frey, and fellow saberists, freshman Chloe Rossetti and sophomores Farrah Kimovec and Katherine Arden, will look to set the tone for a Yale team that struggled at last weekend's NYU Invitational. The sabre squad posted an impressive 29-16 record at the Brandeis Invitational on Dec. 1, 2007, and claimed victories over sabre squads from Boston College, Tufts and Brandeis. Then on Jan. 23, against Vassar, it was Rossetti who led the squad's 7-2 assault; the freshman posted a 3-0 record on the day.
On Dec. 8, 2007, versus Sacred Heart, sophomore sensation, Lidia Gocheva, led the Yale foil squad to its strongest showing of the season. In the 7-2 win, Gocheva won all three of her bouts without surrendering a single touch. Sophomore Jennifer Ivers and senior Umi-shakti Ausar-Sahu both went 2-1. A 9-0 win for the squad over Wayne St. at the Jan. 26 NYU Invitational has given it some momentum entering Ivy League competition. In that match, junior Jennifer Cohen, Ivers and Gocheva all went a perfect 3-0.
The epee squad of freshman Pruittiporn Kerdchoochuen, sophomore Rebecca Moss and junior Abigail Fraeman also comes into the weekend with momentum. They bested the Wayne St. epee squad, 6-3. Each epeeist contributed two victories. The squad will look to the sophomore Moss for leadership though, as she is the only returning Bulldog to have qualified for the 2007 NCAA Championships. She placed fourth at last year's IFA Championships and eighth at the 2007 NCAA Regional tournament.
But in their Ivy League foes, the Bulldogs will face their toughest competition to date.
At 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Yale will take on Penn. The 10-1 Quakers most recently swept Cleveland St., Haverford and Penn St. at the Jan. 26 Penn St. Open. They are led by junior foilist Abby Emerson, who was a second-team All-American in 2007. Penn's only loss of the 2007-08 campaign came against Northwestern.
At 11:30 a.m., the Bulldogs will come head-to-head with traditional rival Harvard. The Crimson stands at a perfect 7-0 on the year, including a victory over Penn St., 16-11. The team also swept five dual meets at the Princeton Dual Meets on Dec. 1, 2007.
Then at 1:30 p.m., Yale and Brown will face off. The Bears, who are an impressive 15-1 already this year, have shown great improvement since the last time these two teams met. Saberist Randy Alevi and the rest of the Brown sabre squad make up the strength of the Bears attack. Alevi is 38-7 for the year.
Finally, the Bulldogs will take on the Big Red of Cornell at 3:00 p.m. The Big Red, 10-2 in dual meets this season, are led by a deep epee squad, which features sophomore Katharine Thompson. Thompson and saberist Alex Heiss both recorded perfect 12-0 marks at the Jan. 26 Wellesley Invitational.
Yale will face Princeton (6-2) and Columbia (4-1) on Sunday, Feb. 10, in Princeton, N.J.
The Ivy League will be blogging live from Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Follow all of the action on the Ivy League fencing blog--ivyfencing.wordpress.com.
Report filed by Nicholas Thorne '08, Yale Sports Publicity