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Bulldogs Hold Annual Fencing Banquet

Bulldogs Hold Annual Fencing Banquet

April 25, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - On Saturday, the Yale women's fencing team had its annual banquet to celebrate the season and hand out team awards. At the banquet, the Bulldogs announced that their captain for the 2009-2010 season would be junior Rebecca Moss. The banquet marked the end of a season that saw the Elis make many improvements. This year, the Bulldogs finished two spots higher in the Ivy League and sent three fencers to the NCAA National Championships -- three times as many as last year.

Junior Katherine Arden was awarded the Corey Friedlander Award for the member of the Yale fencing team who, through great personal sacrifice, along with a deep sense of devotion to her fellow fencers, has contributed most to the organization, well-being, and general morale of the Yale fencing team. Arden served as the team manager this past season.

Outgoing Captain Lidia Gocheva was honored with the Sherry Marcy Award (1976), given to that member who, through improvement, enthusiasm, dedication and love of fencing, has made the greatest contribution to the team.

Moss noted, "The women's team would like to acknowledge Lidia Gocheva, our out-going captain, who unfortunately could not be there with us. She was a fantastic leader and her presence was deeply missed."

Freshman Katharine Pitt was awarded the Most Valuable Fencer Award for the male or female that has been the most valuable member to the Yale fencing program. The MVP honor is rarely awarded because it only given to fencers who have earned All-America Status. Pitt finished in eighth place at the NCAA National Championships to earn a spot on the second team All-America foil squad.

Moss commented on Pitt's performance this season, "I was very excited to see our wonderful freshman, Katharine Pitt receive the most valuable fencer award which is a highly coveted and not annually awarded trophy. Pitt was able to showcase her zeal and competitive spirit at the NCAA National Championships where she nabbed the title of Second Team All American. We look forward to her returning to the team next year and watching her next outstanding performance."

The men's fencing team was able to swipe the team-voted awards, however several women fencers were close in the running.

In particular, Moss wished to give credit to "Sophomore Tasha Garcia [who] deserves recognition for her season this year -- after only walking on to the team her freshman year, Tasha, through her hard work and dedication, was chosen to start for epee against several major competitors and even finished her C pool at IFA's undefeated."

Finally, the banquet brought the announcement of junior epeeist Rebecca Moss as the new captain of the Elis. Moss won the captain's election over another very experienced junior, saberist Jennifer Ivers.

Moss will be working with Andrew Holbrook, who was elected captain of the men's fencing team.

Said Moss on the elections, "Andrew and I have become close friends over the last three years in and out of the gym. We have common goals and understandings and I greatly look forward to working with him to create the most efficient and effective practice routines yet."

This year the team will lose two seniors to graduation. Epeeist Abigail Fraeman and foilist Jennifer Cohen will be greatly missed by the team.

Moss noted that Fraeman especially would be missed, "Abby served as one of the most vibrant and positive forces on team this year through both individual performance and team encouragement. Her and Jen's parting words, accompanied by coach's always honest and encouraging replies, reminded the team of how far we have come together and how difficult it is to say good-bye."

Looking ahead to next season, Moss is hopeful to continue the team's record for improvement.

"I am extremely honored and excited to be serving as the women's captain next year," said Moss. "Every year in my last three years at Yale, the fencing team has improved both in results and in team unity. I look forward to working with Andrew and the women's manager, Jennifer Ivers, as well as the squad captains, to jump start this trend. With the help of our incoming freshman and continued hard work, this team has the capability of leaping far beyond our already impressive combined finish of 10th place nationwide."

Report By Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity