Columbia Deflates Fencing

The ease with which the men’s and women’s fencing teams dispatched of Brandeis last Wednesday was not at all apparent in the Crimson’s losses to Columbia this weekend.

The women’s team (5-2) fell to Columbia 15-12, and if not for an impressive performance from the sabre team the score would have been much more lopsided.

The women’s sabre was the only weapon squad on either the men’s or the women’s side that defeated Columbia. They won 7-2, with sophomore Eunice Yei sweeping her Columbia opponent 3-0. Juniors Amy Brei and Sian Kleindienst both won 2-1.

“Our sabre team was really strong this year,” sophomore Sarah Park said. “We did better than last year.”

“Sabre winning 7-2—that just blew them out of the water,” co-captain Ellen Schulz said.

The women’s foil and epee teams were not as lucky as their sabre counterparts. The foil lost 7-2, with sophomore Elizabeth Blase and co-captain Nicole Jarrett winning one match out of three and Schulz losing all three of her matches.

Senior Tamara Knutsen had another strong performance in the epee, winning 2 of three matches. Park went 1-2, and sophomore Rebecca Cantu went 0-3.

Compared with past performances against Columbia, Harvard did very well.

“In the past three years, we’ve had poor showings against Columbia,” Schulz said. “We were very, very happy with this result.”

A strong Columbia team stymied the Harvard men, 24-3. There weren’t too many bright spots on the day for the Crimson, but the team felt that the results weren’t a good indication of its effort.

“The win-loss record doesn’t reflect how well we fought during the day,” said junior captain David Wollenberg. “They are a tough team.”

“Columbia is one of the top three teams in the U.S.,” said junior captain Ben Schmidt. “We went into this meet knowing that it was going to take a huge effort just to put some bouts on the scoreboard.”

The men took one point with each of the three weapons. Junior Scott Silver went 1-2 with the sabre, freshman Phil Sherrill was 1-2 with the foil and freshman Michael Soto was 1-2 with the epee.

Both captains were particularly impressed with the performance of their point scorers.

“Phil Sherrill, Mike Soto and Scott Silver managed to defeat some really great fencers,” Schmidt said. “Sherrill defeated Jeremy Sinkin who has the second highest U.S. rank in Under-20 Men’s foil.”

The Crimson’s next matches occur over intersession on January 26th in the NFC Championships, to be held at Boston College.