Sunday’s Vassar Invitational was a resounding success for No. 10 Cornell fencing (6-0), who rolled through a tournament that they have dominated in recent years. Across a full day of fencing, the Red faced a wide variety of opponents, highlighted by a marquee matchup against No. 12 Yale (7-1).
The Red came out of the gates hot to start their season, dispatching both Sacred Heart (3-4) and Stevens (11-7) by scores of 24-3. The foil unit shone across both matchups, tallying an 8-1 record against the Pioneers before going 9-0 against the Ducks, with sabre also registering a perfect record versus Stevens. These bouts served as a good way to shake off the rust before a highly anticipated early season test against Yale.
In the matchup against the Bulldogs, the quality of both teams was evident as the bout went down to the wire. Despite a setback in epee, strong performances from both foil and sabre proved decisive as Cornell took the bout by a score of 14-13. In such a tight contest, sophomore foil squad member Meeah Bradford attributed the Big Red’s success to team cohesion and high energy.
“A lot of it was just the energy that we gave each other, that was definitely the most hyped we were throughout the entire day,” Bradford said. “It was honestly one of our best performances that I’ve ever seen.”
The Red ran out the tournament with three more wins, taking down Division III opponents Denison (10-2) and Drew (12-12), and Division I foe Wagner (8-4). Foil continued its dominance, finishing the day without a negative record in any of the six bouts.
Cornell got strong performances from a wide variety of fencers, both experienced and new to college fencing. Sophomore Mia Jo and juniors Sarah Lacson and Emma Brown all ended the day undefeated, while freshman Brianna Lee won a team high 13 total bouts, with junior Renata Chusid following close behind with 11.
Despite such a dominant overall performance, however, the Red still have room to improve as they move forward. Bradford highlighted improving team endurance as instrumental for sustained success in a sport that usually follows a tournament format.
“It was one of the longest days I’ve ever had. I think most of us were up at 3:45 in the morning and didn’t get home until 11 [p.m.],” Bradford said. “Learning how to manage that, utilize our time wisely and conserve our energy is something that I think we can work on.”
Cornell fencing next takes to the strip on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Brandeis Invitational in Waltham, Massachusetts. The tournament will take place across the entire day.