By JOEL COOPER
Cornell’s fencing team continued its fine start to the season with a dominating performance at the Vassar invitational on Sunday. The Red managed eight victories, defeating CCNY, Fairleigh Dickinson, Haverford, Hunter, Sacred Heart, Stevens, Tufts and Vassar.
The team was lead by the foil squad, which won 64 of 72 bouts while going undefeated at 9-0 against Haverford, Vassar, Sacred Heart and Tufts. The strongest performance came from junior Angelica Gangemi who nearly managed a perfect day, recording 21 wins out of 22. Junior Ediona Sera and freshman Luby Kiriakidi also had impressive days, both recording at least 20 wins.
The epee squad also had a good day, winning 56 and only losing 16. The squad’s best performance came from sophomore Victoria Wines who managed a 17-1 record. Wines was backed up by seniors Yolanda Li (17-6) and Olivia Weller (15-4).
Not to be outdone, the sabre squad managed a 53-19 performance, led by freshman Regina Chen, who ended the day with a 19-4 record. She was closely followed by junior Alaina Uhouse (16-7) and junior Sarah Gruman (14-7).
Cornell was coming off the back of an impressive opening weekend at the Temple Open, where it recorded three victories. The Red came into this weekend full of confidence, which helped the young team overcome a few nerves, according to Weller
“I think we were pretty confident going in. We trained really hard for it, so it was not only the results at Temple that gave us the confidence, we really worked hard during preseason and I think we used our time most effectively,” Weller said. “It was just a little nerveracking for the newer girls as well because this is the first time fencing in a team format, but I think overall people adjusted very well to fencing in a team environment compared to as an individual.”
The Red’s strong performance was helped by the mental focus of the entire squad over what was a very long day.
“I think one of the biggest things is that physically we were ready for the tournament because during the week the main challenge with Vassar is the longevity of the day,” Weller said. “It was a lot to work on mental preparedness, but you have to keep your focus but to keep your focus for such a long time is exhausting.”
Cornell has also been focusing on team exercises, according to Weller, which really benefited them in Vassar, a team tournament.
“It’s pretty hard when you have such an individual sport, it’s hard to make a united team because you are always working on individual results,” Weller said. “This year we have been working on team exercises like team lifts and team events. We did Into the Streets together as a team. I think that sort of stuff is really helping us a team.”
Cornell now enters a few weeks off before heading to Brandeis Invitational on Dec. 7.