The fencing team will compete in its last scheduled event this Sunday at the Northeast regionals with the hope that strong performances will lead to a few of the fencers getting bids to the NCAA championships, two weeks after regionals.
“This year, we’ve qualified eight people for regionals,” head coach Al Peters points out.
Each of them will hope to use strong results this weekend as a springboard to move on. Qualification for the NCAA championships is an extremely objective and precise standard that is based in part on results this weekend, partly on previous performance, as well as strength of schedule, and a few other mathematical decision makers.
Last year, the Red qualified two fencers, Roopa Rangi ’01 and Ellen Rajfer ’01, for the NCAA championships. While both Rangi and Rajfer have graduated, current junior Siobhan Cully qualified two years ago and Peters lists her, along with top saber fencer senior Elinor Granzow, and epee fencers senior Patricia Blumenauer and sophomore Stephanie Glaser as top contenders to do so this year.
To get there will be difficult, however. The Red competed in perhaps its most rigorous day of fencing last week at the IFA championships, but Peters believes that this will be as difficult, if not more so. There are generally about 30 to 40 fencers at each weapon and to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, it is often necessary to place in the top five of that group.
Although it will be arduous, there is also an element of exhilaration befitting the competition that will culminate their season.
As Peters puts it, “Obviously, the season, dual matches, and Ivy League matches are important. The IFA is important for historical reasons. But this weekend is important because of the chance to go to the NCAA tournament, and what everyone wants is to go to the big show.”
Archived article by Andrew Bernie