February 5, 2008

Fencers Take On Ivy Foes

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Cornell’s fencers clashed with some of the sharpest competition in the country on Sunday when they traveled to New Haven for the first round of the Ivy League championships. The Red out-dueled Brown and Yale but fell to Columbia — a perennial powerhouse who has finished in the top-2 in the Ivy League for the past six years — and Princeton to finish the tournament with a 2-2 record.
Cornell opened the day with a match against Brown, a team it defeated by a score of 14-13 last year. Sophomore Katherine Thompson led the epee squad to a 6-3 performance, but the sabre team finished 3-6 against Brown. Freshman Jessica Tranquada came through with a three-win performance for the foils, who went 5-4, and the Red triumphed over the Bears with the same score as last year, 14-13. Despite the close score, the Red knew it had won the match early.[img_assist|nid=27292|title=Swashbucklers|desc=The Red fencers finished the first round of the Ivy League championships in New Haven this weekend with a 2-2 record.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“We won early on which was nice,” said sophomore Alison Ewing. “It was still really exciting to actually win when we put all this work together. It was our first match of the day so it was a good warmup.”
The Red’s second match was against talent-heavy Columbia. The Lions — who went undefeated for the tournament in both men’s and women’s play — routed Cornell by a final score of 23-4. Highlights of the tough match with Columbia included sophomore Tasha Hall winning two bouts on epee and junior Alex Heiss posting one sabre victory over Columbia’s freshman phenom Jackie Jacobson.
“Well, one of their fencers went to the Olympics,” Ewing explained. “There were also a few girls that we didn’t expect to be there because we thought they were taking a semester off to train for the Olympics. So that was a surprise. They’re a machine.”
Heiss continued her hot streak into the next match and won all three of her bouts against Princeton. The rest of the Red did not fare as well and fell to the Tigers, 17-10, in Princeton’s only win of the day.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t beat Princeton because we’re a stronger team than Princeton, but we just weren’t fencing very well,” Ewing said. “… Everyone tried but they didn’t perform as well as they did [throughout] the rest of the day.”
The Red finished the day against the host of the tournament, Yale. Heiss was once again undefeated for the team, winning all three of her bouts. Cornell triumphed over Yale, 16-11.