February 21, 2010

Fencing Team Hosts First Half of Ivy League Championships

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The women’s fencing team hosted the first half of the Ivy League Championships yesterday at Newman Arena. The Red faced off against Brown to begin the tournament, and also fenced against Harvard, Penn and Columbia. Cornell finished with a win over Brown but three losses against Columbia, Harvard and Penn.

In its next bout, the Red fell to Columbia by a score of 21-6. Columbia is currently ranked second in the nation. All three weapons lost, 7-2. Still, the Red received impressive performances from Yang and Hirschfeld once again. Both fencers finished 2-1 for the saber and foil, respectively.

“Columbia is the No. 1 team in the Ivy but still we had good results,” said head coach Iryna Dolgikh. “Just last year we lost 26-1. … We did much better this year.”

At 3 p.m., Cornell began its third match against Harvard. The Crimson, like Columbia, is a national powerhouse, ranked second in the Ivy League and third nationally. Harvard also won last year’s Ivy League Championships. But the Red managed to remain close to the Crimson in both the foil and epee weapons.

“We showed good results,” Dolgikh said. “And also the foil squad was very close to beating Harvard … foil had four wins and epee was 4-5.”

Freshman Christie Robinson added to the epee total with an impressive 5-2 victory against Harvard captain –– and World Championships bronze medalist –– Noam Mills.

“It seemed like she was just making more mistakes than me,” Robinson said. “The last touch I liked because she wasn’t expecting a flush right to the chest.”

But the Red saber squad fell to the Crimson saber squad, 1-8. Thus, the final score of the bout was 9-18.

Cornell rounded up its day with a 10-17 loss to Penn. The Quakers began the day with a resounding 17-10 defeat of No.3 Harvard, and also beat Yale as well, despite being ranked below Harvard at No. 8 in the nation. The weapons scores were nearly identical to the Harvard match for the Red with 4-5 losses in both epee and foil and a 2-7 defeat in saber.

Before the Ivy League Championships conclude next week at Penn, Robinson expects the team to arrive in Philadelphia with more intensity.

“We probably want to be a bit more motivated,” Robinson said. “Some of the teams weren’t as ready or as fast as we should be. We probably need more energy.”

The Red will face Yale, Princeton and Dartmouth to finish the tournament in Philadelphia this weekend.

Original Author: Nathan Lowry