February 25, 2002

Fencers Suffer Through Winless Weekend in Philly

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As results go, it was not the best of weekends. The fencing team traveled to Penn over the weekend only to limp home with an 0-4 record. The Red fell to the host squad, Penn State and Temple, and dropped a tight contest against Ivy League rival Columbia. Despite the winless weekend, the mood among the players remained positive.

“We were pretty happy with how we fenced,” senior epee captain Patricia Blumenauer commented. “It was kind of disappointing, but we fenced pretty well, so I think the mood is pretty positive.”

It should be noted that Penn State finished last year as the national runner-up, won the championship the previous four years and is generally regarded as a top candidate to do the same this year. In that match, as well as in the ones against Penn, and Temple the Red was simply overmatched. Cornell did not win more than two of the nine bouts in a weapon in any of the three matches.

The Columbia match, however, was a far closer affair.

Against Columbia, the team was relatively competitive in all three weapons before falling 16-11. The saber squad recorded the Red’s only weapon victory on the day. Sophomore Erin Conroy, senior Elinor Granzow and sophomore Lily Nierenberg each went 2-1, as Cornell posted a solid 6-3 victory in the weapon. However, the foil squad was defeated by the same score as senior Tara Hatami, and juniors Tara Watkins and Rachel Lee each posted one victory, and the epee squad fell 7-2 to produce the close loss.

The focus now quickly shifts to next weekend where the fencers will travel to Vassar in Poughkeepsie, NY, where they will participate in the IFA championships before the Northeast regionals the following week. To many of the fencers, this is one of the most exciting events of the year. It has both individual and team components, a dual nature that makes for very interesting matches.

“Last year, our epee squad won the gold medal,” notes Blumenauer. “We want to [continue that success].”

The event will also be crucial to help build momentum for the regional championships the following week. In any case, it appears that the team is looking forward. The four losses this weekend brought the team’s record to 5-8 but it fenced well and will look to continue to do so in the coming weeks.

Archived article by Andrew Bernie