November 25, 2008

Fencing Wins First Team Match

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This weekend the fencing team dominated at the Cornell Fencing Invitational, the team’s first — and last — home meet of the season. They defeated Yeshiva University, 27-0, and Stevens Institute of Technology, 20-7 on Sunday. Stevens also beat Yeshiva, 20-7.
“I’m glad with how well we did,” said team captain junior Katherine Thompson.[img_assist|nid=33878|title=‘X’ marks the spot|desc=Freshman foil specialist Rebecca Hirschfield competes in her individual fice-touch match against Yeshival University on Sunday. The Red won, sweepig Yeshiva, 27-0.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
In team fencing meets, three players from each of the three weapons classes compete against the opposing, three-member team for each particular weapon. Each of the matches consists of five touches.
The meet also marked fencing’s first team meet of the season.
“It was nerve-wracking, especially since it was my first tournament fencing epee,” said freshman epee fencer Molly Smith. “But I did really well, and I got to see what the tournament atmosphere was like. It was an amazing experience.”
It was also her first ever team competition, since she only fenced individually in high school. Smith said she was impressed by the team’s sense of camaraderie.
“Their cheering was inspiring to be around,” she said. “I definitely performed a lot better because of them.”
Fencing at home provided a special advantage for the women since many fencers had family and friends who came to cheer them on at the Stifel Salle in Bartels Hall.
“Our friends got to see what we do since fencing is not such a well-known sport,” said sophomore saber fencer Katie Halpin.
Smith and her sister Celia, also an epee fencer, were cheered on by their parents and Ithaca-dwelling grandparents. The visit was particularly meaningful since their mom also fenced for Cornell as a student.
Additionally, Thompson said the home meet allowed fencers to compete who normally “won’t get the chance to travel as much.”
Several team members attributed their success to what Halpin called “intense practices and conditioning.”
“We were pumped up because we were at home,” she said.