This past Sunday, Cornell fencing dominated its opponents at the Brandeis Fencing Invitational, sweeping all five teams it faced. The team now sports an eight-match winning streak and an impressive 9-2 overall record.
The Red came away with a 22-5 win over Brandeis in round one, defeated Wellesley, 19-8, in round two, and continued on to beat MIT, 22-5, in round three, Boston College, 18-9 , in round four and Incarnate Word, 23-4, in the fifth round.
The Red’s dominant sweep was led by the foil squad, who went 37-8 against all five teams. The Epee squad went 32-13, and the Saber squad went 35-10.
The team saw many of its underclassmen members succeed, as junior Marissa Viqueira (9-2) and freshman Gabrielle Hill (9-3) led the team in individual victories with nine wins each. Freshman Madeleine Nishimura (8-1) and freshman Ying Cao (8-0) both finished with eight wins, while freshman Emily Gao (7-3), sophomore Megan Eno (7-2), sophomore Yoanna Efimova (7-2), junior Marigot Fackenthal (7-2) and sophomore Esther Bentolila (7-1) all finished with seven wins. Fifteen of the team’s 19 members who competed finished with individual records above .500.
“Nothing has come easy for us — we started off the season with both our head coach and assistant coach leaving for other schools, spent over a month running daily unofficial practices and scrambling to keep up morale, adjusted to a whole new coaching style mere weeks before our first competition” said Fackenthal, a co-captain.
Fackenthal was referencing the departure of former head coach Daria Schneider, who left for the same role at Harvard. Former assistant coach Omar Elgeziry was named head coach at Air Force earlier this year.
But under new head coach Ariana Klinkov and her staff, the Red has improved upon its standing from last season. At the end of 2018, Cornell was only 5-8 and lost seven of its first eight meets.
“I’m so proud of this team’s ability to push through hardship and come out stronger. We showed strong fencing at Brandeis, and we’re very excited to continue bolstering Cornell fencing’s reputation in the coming meets,” Fackenthal said.
The Brandeis Invitational marks the team’s last competition of the semester. Cornell will return to action on Jan. 18 at the Philadelphia Invitational.