February 23, 2007

Fencing Takes On Second Round of Ivy Tourney

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Coming off of a strong performance at the Junior Olympic National championships this past weekend, the Red will face off in the second round of the Ivy championships against Yale, Brown and Princeton on Sunday. The Red struggled in the first round of the Ivy championships two weeks ago, losing to both Harvard and Columbia, 21-6, and narrowly falling to Penn, 14-13. Senior Elise Pasoreck concedes that better results are expected this time around.

“The worst is behind us,” Pasoreck said. “We had to face Harvard last round, and they were national champions last year. However, we do have to fight hard and every bout counts. Competitively speaking, this round won’t be as much of a struggle, but we can’t slack off. We have to fight like we’re facing the best teams out there.”
[img_assist|nid=21611|title=I challenge you to a duel|desc=The Fencing squad will try to rebound this weekend at the second round of the Ivy tournament after losses to Harvard, Columbia and Penn in Round 1.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=86]

Based upon the standings from the first round, the Red is set to compete with the bottom three seeded teams in the upcoming second half.

The Red will first face Yale, who also went without a win in the first round and with whom Cornell is tied for the last seed. The squad will then compete against Brown and Princeton, each of whom secured only one win in the first round.

Head coach Iryna Dolgikh is determined to achieve victory in the upcoming round and is optimistic of the Red’s chances of doing so.

“We have to fight our hardest with all the schools,” Dolgikh said. “We have to beat at least one out of the three. We have a good chance, as all the schools are stronger in some weapons than the others and therefore have different overall results. Our sabre squad can do a good job and has a decent chance for two wins. Our epee squad has a chance for one win and it’s hard to say for the foil squad because we have new players with less experience, but we have to do well.”

Despite the sport’s individualistic nature, the cumulative results of all three squads count in the end. Pasorek is confident that the Red’s unity as a team is the difference between upcoming victories and past defeats.

“We’ve definitely become more unified since the first round of Ivies,” Pasoreck said. “I’m confident that the same unity will continue into the competition this weekend. The overall goal is to see the team win. In the end, it’s a cumulative result, even though highly individual. It doesn’t matter if I win if the team loses.”

Although the Red’s performance in the Ivy championships has no bearing on the upcoming IFA championships, it does weigh into the NCAA Regional championships seedings in two weeks.

“The Ivy championships determines how we’re seated at Regionals,” Pasoreck said. “And, the higher we’re seeded, the better chance we’ll have to have players qualify for Nationals. It’s important to do well, because our performance also determines the seating for next year’s Ivy League championship.”