January 30, 2008

Fencers Topple Four, Win Invite

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This past weekend, the fencing team rolled through the Wellesley Invitational like the Patriots rolled through the NFL regular season — well, almost. While the Red swept Tufts, UMass, Wellesley and Hunter College over the weekend, it did allow a point here and there — although never more than six in a single match.
“We lost a lot of bouts that we should have won to easy teams,” said sophomore Alison Ewing, who fences sabre.
Nonetheless, after a long layoff of over seven weeks, the fencing team was on its game for most of the afternoon in its final tune up before the Ivy League championships. Junior sabre Alex Heiss — who spent last semester training with the Chinese National team — won all 12 of her matches to lead a sabre team that took 32-of-36 points.
“We were overall happy with how it came out,” Ewing said. “Some people might have been individually frustrated. But at the same time we had a lot of freshman competing who had never competed before so, you forgot that you were frustrated.”
And the freshmen didn’t just compete, they held their own. Behind Heiss, freshman Gwen Waichmann was 10-2 while classmate Julie Viola was 6-1.
“[Julie’s] experience over the past year finally showed through,” Ewing, who won all three of her matches, said. “It all finally caught up with her.”
The epee and foil squads did their part as well. The freshmen shone through for foil despite a rocky start against Wellesley, losing 6-3. Rookie Jessica Tranquada bounced back from her defeat to win her next 10 matches.
“A lot of our freshman got to start and they did really well,” Ewing said. “[Foil] is still building since they have a very young team.”
Finally, epee made sure that the squad will go into the Ivy League championships over the next two weeks on a high note. Sophomores Katherine Thompson and Tasha Hall compiled 12-0 and 11-1 records, respectively in epee.