In an important tune-up for next week’s regionals, the fencing team competed in the IFA championships this past weekend at Vassar College.
While there were some positive moments, including an outstanding performance by junior Siobhan Cully, the Red’s 10th place finish out of 14 teams was somewhat disappointing.
The tournament was bifurcated into a team competition on Saturday, and — for those that qualified — individual competitions on Sunday.
Even with competitions between teams on Saturday consisting of nine matches rather than the usual 27, there were still 13 matches for each fencer on Saturday.
“It’s such a difficult day.” noted head coach Al Peters. “But we did have some extraordinarily good fencing and results.”
With 14 teams, including defending NCAA champion St. John’s in the field, Cornell had no illusions about the difficulties it would encounter.
“Obviously you want to win,” Peters says. “That was, of course, unlikely here but we would have liked to have finished a bit higher.”
The weekend did feature several positive themes. Cully came in second among C qualifiers, making her the Red’s only representative in the individual competition on Sunday, where she came in seventh place overall.
Peters pointed out that in the history of women’s fencing at Cornell, this was only the second time a fencer has fared so well in these championships.
Stephanie Glaser and Lily Nierenberg each finished fifth in qualifying to narrowly miss out on the individual rounds while Rachel Lee finished seventh.
Cornell’s epee squad finished seventh, behind Cully’s performance, for the second year in a row.
The Red will next compete in the Northeast Regionals, on March 10th. This immensely important weekend is the last scheduled competition of the season.
While Cornell did not place quite as high as it had hoped this weekend, next weekend is more important, and the team will be well served by the experience they garnered at Vassar.
As Peters simply put it, “This weekend was quite good as preparations go.”
Archived article by Andrew Bernie