After an up-and-down 2011-12 season that featured a school record in wins, the fencing team brought in nine freshmen as well as a new assistant coach this year.
The squad started off last season strong, winning ten of its first eleven matches between the Vassar and the Brandeis Invitationals. The Red then came away with three wins at the Philadelphia Invitational, but finished the season on a six game slide against Ivy competitors — arguably the best fencers in the country. At the Ivy Championships, the squad went 0-6, but the round robin event featured some standout individual performances by Cornell fencers. Junior April Whitney finished eighth overall individually, and Rebecca Hirschfield ’12 and junior Christine McIntosh finished Top-14 among the 27 total competitors at the match.
This year the Red has nine new faces on its roster to help it fare better as a team at the 2012-13 Ivy Championships. Of the nine freshmen, three are foils, four are epees and two are sabers. Foil Angelica Gangemi brings some international fencing experience to the Red, as she has competed in the 2010 Junior Olympics and the 2010 Summer Nationals, placing in the Top-16 in both tournaments. She also sports a gold medal from the 2011 Division 1A Women’s Foil Summer Nationals Qualifier. Fellow foil Amanda Marks was named the Pacific Coast Fencer of the Year in both foil and saber in 2007 and 2009. Their new teammate, also at foil, Ediona Sera, was the captain of her high school team for all four years and earned all-county honors.
Epee Taylor Yang has already made a name for herself by competing for five years for the Los Angeles International Fencing Center. She came in second in Division II Epee at 2011 Summer Nationals and third at the 2010 Junior Pacific Coast Championships. Fellow epee Ashley Muller placed first at the FAW Qualifiers for Summer Nationals, and teammates Laura Isby and Jenny Zheng both fenced competitively in high school — Isby for Empire United Fencing club, and Zheng for Lingston high school where she earned four varsity letters and won first place in her district.
Saber Eunice Ko joins the Red after spending a year fencing for rival Brandeis, where she was a starter for the saber squad. Alaina Uhouse, who will also be competing as a saber, led her team to a district title in 2010 and 2011, and to a state title in 2009.
In addition to the nine recruits, the Red has added a new assistant coach to the staff — Oleg Brusilovsky. He is a former Soviet Union Champion and a five-time Ukrainian National Champion who will help to bring some more international experience to the Red.