Women Fencers Go Undefeated in NFC

FRESH BLOOD
Evan K. Wilson

The Harvard men’s and women’s fencing teams posted their best seasons in recent memory thanks to a strong core of world-class freshmen recruits.

The Harvard women’s fencing team foiled its opponents all season en route to a 15-2 record.

Led by the foil trio of co-captain Liz Blase, freshman Anne Austin and freshman All-American Chloe Stinetorf, the Crimson (15-3, 2-3 Ivy) dominated the Northeast.

Harvard posted a 15-game winning streak during which it went an undefeated 10-0 in the Northeastern Fencing Conference (NFC) and clinched the title with a 19-8 victory over Brandeis on Feb. 12.

“Harvard pretty much dominated everything this year in the [NFC],” said Harvard coach Peter Brand. “We have great women’s foil fencers. The pressure just doesn’t get to them at all.”

The women’s foil squad posted a 86-4 bout record in the NFC with Stinetorf going undefeated through the season at 30-0, Austin just one victory shy of perfection at 29-1 and Blase finishing 27-3, despite battling injuries at times.

The Crimson just missed a perfect dual-meet season with narrow losses to Columbia, 12-15, in the opener, and Yale, 13-14, in the finale.

At the Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championships, Harvard placed fourth with a 58-37 bout record.

Austin and Stinetorf faced each other in the foil semifinals with Austin prevailing, 15-8. Stinetorf would go on to easily win her bronze medal match, 15-4, while Austin would settle for silver.

“We always go back-and-forth when we fence,” Austin said. “Fencing Chloe changed a lot for me mentally. It just came down to whoever had a lucky day.”

In the saber, junior Eunice Yi took the bronze after losing a close semifinal match, 15-11, to the eventual gold medalist from Columbia.

The next week at the NCAA Regionals, both Stinetorf and Austin qualified for NCAAs with top-four finishes. Stinetorf and Austin once again faced each other in head-to-head competition with Stinetorf reversing the tables and coming out on top this time. Blase and Yi both turned in impressive 11th-place performances but failed to qualify for NCAAs.

At the NCAA Championships in Colorado Springs on March 22-23, Stinetorf earned honorable mention All-American honors with a 12th-place finish, while Austin fell just short, placing 14th in the competitive field of 24 fencers.

Austin, Stinetorf and Yi were all named first-team All-Ivy selections.

—Staff writer Timothy Jackson can be reached at jackson2@fas.harvard.edu.

W. Fencing

Record 15-3 (2-3 Ivy, 3rd place)

Coach Peter Brand

Captain Amy Bei, Liz Blase

Highlights Freshmen Chloe Stinetorf and Anne Austin qualify for NCAAs. Stinetorf earns All-American honors. Harvard posts a 15-game winning streak during which it goes undefeated in NFC competition at 10-0. Foil squad of Austin, Blase and Stinetorf go 86-4 in NFC with Stinetorf posting a perfect 30-0 mark. Austin and Stinetorf finish second and third, respectively, at IFAs, while Eunice Yi takes bronze in saber.

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