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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s Fencing Victory

Published: January 30, 2009
Section: Sports

FENCING: Emma Larkin ‘11 (right) celebrates after a victory during Brandeis’ 18-9 win vs. Wellesley, Wednesday night.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Danielle Wolfson/The Hoot</i>

FENCING: Emma Larkin ‘11 (right) celebrates after a victory during Brandeis’ 18-9 win vs. Wellesley, Wednesday night.
PHOTO BY Danielle Wolfson/The Hoot

On Wednesday night, the Wellesley fencing squared off against the Brandeis women’s fencing team and ended up leaving matching their namesake as the Judges held court in a solid 18-9 victory. The victory comes following a sweep at the second leg of the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet to earn their first ever NCF title.

“It’s not unusual that we win,” Jen Press explained, “we beat them last semester and we beat them this semester.”

“Tonight we fenced well.” Fencing Coach Bill Shipman said, “We lost a few bouts I thought we could have won but overall it was good. Their saber team is inexperienced relative to ours so that was an easy victory and 9-0, that pretty much guarantees we’ll win the meet. The other weapons we were very callous – we lost foil and we just barely won epee so it was much closer so to speak than the score indicated.

The saber squad set the tone as Anna Henley ’11, Alex Turner ’11 and Press swept the saber slate to quickly stake a 9-0 lead. This proved crucial as Brandeis needed to win five of the last six epee matches after losing the first three to seize the 5-4 victory and went on to lose in the foil bout 4-5. The women’s squad is now 18-2 on the season and Shipman credited the improvement of the saber squad with contributing to their rise as well as the overall balance of the team.

“Last year, we were always the squad that was holding the team back,” Press said, “and this year we’re helping carry the team so I’m really proud of us.”

“We have a number one fencer as a transfer (Hanley).” Shipman explained, “She’s very solid, she’s one of the better saber fencers in New England. And Alex Turner, our second saber fencer is really improved so we’re much deeper in saber than we were and epee’s improved as well. They’re very solid in all three positions. And foil has our seniors; we have a lot of experience at foil with three seniors out of the top four. So we have a nice balanced group.”

Brandeis heads into Boston to take on Duke, Haverford, NYU, Penn, Princeton, and Yeshiva at the Brandeis/MIT Invitational on February 1. Duke and Penn are expected to be exceptionally tough with Duke boasting rookie Becca Ward who returned from Beijing with a bronze medal. However, Shipman expressed confidence that his squad would be able to rise up to competition.

“It’s a little bit higher level than we’ve been so far,” Shipman stated, “Penn, Princeton, Duke, although we beat Duke’s women last year so I think we can hang with them all. We might not be able to beat them all but I think we can compete; we might be able to surprise some people.”