November 14, 2008

Open Is First Test for Red Freshman

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The fencing team is heading to Philadelphia for the Temple Collegiate Open this Saturday.
“This weekend will be some of the best fencing, because there will be lots of people with lots of experience,” said junior captain Katherine Thompson.
[img_assist|nid=33595|title=Touche|desc=The women’s fencing team places first in last year’s Cornell Invitational. This Saturday, the team is heading to Philadelphia to compete in the Temple Collegiate Open.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The open is an individual tournament that consists of two sessions of round robin style open pools, followed by a direct elimination round. Since the tournament is individual, it does not count towards the team’s record or for the team members’ NCAA records.
Instead, the team will use the tournament to “organize ourselves to get into our scene and work out any rust that we need to get out of our girls,” according to assistant coach Rachel Covault.
The tournament will also be the first collegiate competition for the freshmen.
“We have a couple new, good freshmen,” said head coach Iryna Dolgikh. “Now we have to see how they fence, what they can do, what their ability is in tournaments.”
The coach will also be looking to see how well the women integrate the new things they have learned since last season, as well as whether the team’s implementation of a weightlifting and conditioning regimen this year is paying off.
Thompson said the extra workouts were added to improve the team’s strength and endurance, traits that will prove useful during Saturday’s grueling all day competition.
Dolgikh also said she will be checking “each of the girls’ spirit — I want to see who’s a fighter, and who’s just fencing for fun.”
She said that the team’s heart has allowed it to beat superior teams before. This year, in addition to becoming stronger from the weight training, the climate of the team had changed.
“There is a lot more discipline,” Dolgikh said.
Thompson, who also serves as the head of the epee squad, said that all three weapons were improving.
The sabre squad is headed by junior Alison Ewing and sophomore Gwen Waichman, and the foil squad is headed by both junior Dana Baines and Jessica Tranquada, a second-year Architecture student.