After posting a winning record in its first weekend back after a long winter break, the fecing team feels it has the momentum and confidence necessary to make it through this weekend’s grueling schedule.
“I do think it gets us even more excited,” junior co-captain Meghan Phair said of last weekend’s results. “Everyone’s more confident in their own abilities.”
Last weekend, the Red went 3-1, with its only lost coming against No. 4 Harvard. In anticipation of the long days ahead, head coach Al Peters has emphasized conditioning and mental toughness in practice. This strategy paid off last weekend, and the Red hopes to apply its hard work with equal success in its upcoming matches.
“It willbe a very exciting weekend for fencing,” Peters said. “We will face some really fine teams. We’re hoping to fuction well together as a team and get good individual results.”
On Saturday, the Red will enter the Tigers’ lair to face off against No. 9 Princeton, James Madison, Haverford, and Fairleigh Dickinson. The Red dominated James Madison, 26-1, in the last face-off between the two teams, but the other teams promise tough competition. Both Haverford and Fairleigh Dickinson have momentum behind them, with each team going 3-1 in their outings last weekend. And while Princeton is 1-2 (0-2 Ivy), both losses came against perrenial powerhouses Penn and Columbia.
“Everybody needs to keep their energy up and stay pumped,” Phair said. “We need to stay relaxed –as soon as you get nervous it all goes downhill. Every school is just another school, every win is just another win.”
The Red will then travel to Cambridge, Mass., for a day of matches against MIT, Brandeis, Boston College, and Brown.
“MIT is the best on paper and the other three are very strong,” Peters said. “It’s a very difficult schedule. Ivy matches are always the most important but the team takes every match with respect.”
MIT is coming off a 5-0 performance at last weekend’s Northeast Conference Meet. The Engineers posted a combined 97-38 team record over the meet, which featured the same teams the Red will face on Sunday. The foil sqaud was led by senior Susannah Dorfman, who posted a 12-1 record. Junior Lynn Wang led the way in saber, finishing 11-3.
Brown also promises to put up a fight, going 3-2 at the same competition. Junior Ruth Schneider, a two-time All-America, went 5-0 at the meet. She will face off against Phair, Cornell’s own two-time All-America, in the epee category.
“Our girls are capable of beating everyone on their teams,” Phair said. “We’ve continued our training, and we’re keeping everyone mentally tough. I think they’ll be good matches — good warm ups for the harder matches.”
Brandeis and Boston College are less formidable foes, with Brandeis resting on a 1-3 overall record. But the Red plans to attack with each match with the same intensity.
“After the [winter] break it’s always difficult to get back in a good frame of mind,” Peters said. “This [past] weekend showed we’re prepared, that we’ve done our homework, which will help us as we face increasingly difficult matches.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer