They didn't do it easily, and they didn't do it with very much style, but the Harvard women's fencing team at least beat Wellesley on the teak floor of the Wellesley Badminton Gymnasium last night, 10-6.
The efforts of Crimson captain Nancy Cooper typified Harvard's struggles throughout the meet. Five minutes into her final bout, a marathon struggle against Wellesley's Aimee Christian, teammate Debbie Sze shouted to Cooper from the sideline, "Fence your own game." Cooper revealed later that all she could think of when she heard Sze's encouragement was "I don't remember what my game is."
Who Am I?
Despite her amnesia, after three more minutes of battle, and continual short lunges and off-target jabs, Cooper managed to garner the crucial touch from close range and win the bout 5-4.
In the next bout Debbie Sze clinched the Crimson victory by lacerating Virginia Penhune 5-2. But, despite the uneven final score and Penhune's repeated attempts to trip over her own feet, this bout was far from easy for Sze, who began by losing two quick points. Down 2-0, Sze then regained her composure and came back with two straight-in attacks and three quick loops around Penhune's attempted parries for touches.
Will to Win
In an earlier bout, Cathy Lowry, who won three times out of four on the evening, as did Cooper and Sze, climbed back from a 3-0 deficit against Mary Varkus with fierce determination when her normally fluid and well executed attacks failed her.
Overall the Crimson took four out of five bouts that were decided by one point. As Cooper said later, "We don't choke. Even though our technique was just disgusting we toughed it out. In a similar way against Dartmouth on Sunday when we fell behind 3-1, we didn't give up. We grittily came back to win. I just hope that tomorrow against the University of Rhode Island we can fence rather than tough our way to victory."
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