POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Wellesley College fencing opened the 2016-17 season on Sunday afternoon at the annual Vassar Invitational at Walker Field House. Faced with a challenging schedule, the Blue earned four victories on the day, defeating Queens, Hunter, Yeshiva, and Haverford, while suffering setbacks to Stevens, Drew, Northwestern, and Cornell.
Wellesley finished the day with a 42-30 overall record in sabre, a 39-33 mark in foil and a 27-45 record in epee. The foil duo of first year Brie Maurer (Fredericksburg, Va.) and junior Taylor Hood (Lexington, Ky.) combined for 35 wins, with Maurer putting together a team best 18-6 mark and Hood going 17-7. In sabre, sophomore Meg Harney (Wilmette, Ill.) and junior Madeleine Barowsky (Framingham, Mass.) led the way with 15-9 records, while sophomore Cassandra Cronin (Johns Creek, Ga.) had a squad-best 13-11 mark in epee.
Stevens 21, Wellesley 6
The Blue opened with back-to-back victories in foil by Maurer and Hood but ultimately fell to the Ducks, 21-6, in the first round of the day. Hood finished foil with a pair of wins, while Wellesley also got a victory from first year Calla Nelles-Sager (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in epee and one each from Harney and Barowsky in sabre.
Drew 16, Wellesley 11
Wellesley got moving in the right direction in the second round of the day, but still dropped a 16-11 final to Drew. Wellesley earned a 6-3 win in sabre, as Barowsky put together a perfect 3-0 mark, senior Jasmine Davis (Long Valley, N.J.) went 2-1 and Harney earned a win in her final bout. Cronin led the way in epee, earning two bout victories, while Maurer returned to grab two more wins in foil and Hood earned her third win of the day.
Wellesley 20, Queens 7
The Blue carried their positive momentum into the third round of the day, earning their first win of the season thanks to team victories in all three weapons. The Blue swept to victory in sabre, with Davis, Barowsky and Harney all going 3-0. Hood and Maurer each went 3-0 in foil to grab the Blue a 6-3 win, while the Blue eked out a 5-4 win in epee thanks to two wins each from Nelles-Sager and Cronin and one from sophomore Malak Alsayyad (Cairo, Egypt).
Wellesley 23, Hunter 4
Wellesley kept rolling against Hunter, earning the squad's biggest win of the day by a 23-4 margin. Wellesley took 8-1 wins in both foil and epee and a 7-2 victory in sabre. The Blue cruised against a shorthanded Hunter side in foil, while Cronin went 3-0 and junior Hannah Schmidt (Oshkosh, Wis.) went 2-0 in epee. Nelles-Sager also put together a 2-1 mark and Alsayyad grabbed a win in the final round of epee. In sabre, Harney went 3-0, while Davis and Barowsky were each 2-1.
Northeastern 23, Wellesley 4
The Blue faced a tough test in their fifth round of the day, facing off with a Northwestern squad that finished in eighth place at last year's NCAA Championships. Wellesley held their own in foil, as Maurer went 2-1 and Hood earned a win before the Blue dropped a 6-3 final. Wellesley also got a victory from Harney in sabre, but the Wildcats ultimately went on to take the 23-4 victory thanks to an 8-1 win in sabre and a 9-0 sweep in epee.
Cornell 22, Wellesley 5
Following the match-up with the Wildcats, Wellesley was tasked with facing Cornell, another a top-ten finisher at last year's NCAA Championships. The Big Red cruised to 8-1 wins in sabre and epee and took a 6-3 victory in foil. Barowsky earned the lone Blue victory in sabre, while Cronin opened the epee competition with a win of her own. In foil, Hood earned two victories and Maurer secured the third, but the Big Red took the 22-5 final.
Wellesley 20, Yeshiva 7
The Blue followed the setbacks to Northwestern and Cornell with their third victory, defeating Yeshiva, 20-7. For the second time on the day, Davis, Barowsky and Harney all went 3-0 to earn Wellesley a 9-0 sweep in sabre. The Blue cruised to an 8-1 win in foil, behind 3-0 marks from the duo of Hood and Maurer. First year Sarah Guise (Silver Spring, Md.) also put together a 2-1 mark in foil. Yeshiva countered with a 6-3 win in epee, with the Blue getting two wins from Cronin and one win from Nelles-Sager, but it wasn't enough to rally past Wellesley for the win.
Wellesley 19, Haverford 8
Wellesley closed out the day with a 19-8 victory over Haverford, evening their team mark at 4-4. Harney went 3-0 for the third time on the day, and Barowsky and Davis went 2-1, as Wellesley cruised in sabre, 7-2. The Blue also got a 7-2 win in epee, behind 3-0 marks from Cronin and Nelles-Sager. The foil squad had a tough test, but ended the day with a 5-4 win thanks to a 3-0 record by Maurer and 2-1 mark by Hood.
Wellesley returns to action next weekend at the first Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the season on Saturday, November 19, at 8:30 AM at MIT.