December 3, 2008

Fencing Finishes Semester at Brandeis Invitational

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On Sunday the fencing team will travel to Massachusetts for the Brandeis Invitational, Cornell’s last tournament of the semester. The team will face off against Boston College, St. John’s, Haverford, MIT, Yale and Brown, as well as the host Brandeis.
“We’re facing really strong competitors,” head coach Iryna Dolgikh said, “but the success we showed at the Cornell Invitational will help us go ahead and beat many of the others.”
She said the team has good chances against Boston College, MIT and Brandeis, and had played close matches with several of the other schools in previous years. The team’s biggest threat seems to be St. John’s, which did very well in last year’s NCAA tournament.
The invitational will also mark the team’s first encounter with Ivy teams this season.
“This is a very important tournament because it sets the stage for Ivy competitions next semester, and this is a tougher tournament,” said Olena Gutor, the team’s administrative assistant.
She echoed Dolgikh’s hopes for the team’s results.
“We’re not expected to sweep this tournament, but I really hope we do well and beat all the teams that we’re able to beat.”
The tournament is not mandatory, according to junior Alison Ewing, co-captain of the saber squad, since it takes place during study week.
“It falls during a tough time since a lot of people have tests right after,” said sophomore foil co-captain Jessica Tranquada. “But we’re still able to send a full team.”
She added that the foil squad hopes to beat Boston College after narrowly losing to them last year.
Dolgikh is not too bothered by the fact that some fencers will be missing the tournament; she said that last year, fencing had the GPA among Cornell’s varsity teams.
“I want my girls to do well on the strip and also in school.”