NEW HAVEN, Conn. - While the Bulldogs faced some of its toughest opponents on the first day of Ivies, they finished with a 1-2 record.
Yale began the day with a challenging loss to their rivals, the Crimson. While Harvard was victorious 16-11, the Bulldogs fought hard for every touch. The epee squad posted a 5-4 winning record, with Daniel Li and captain Isaac Shelanski finishing undefeated. Jonathan Xu also won the majority of his bouts.
After shaking off their tough loss, Yale pulled out a tight 14-13 win against Princeton. Saber fencer Walter Musgrave went undefeated against the Tigers and both the saber and the epee squads won six of their nine bouts. With the score tied at 12-12, but victory not guaranteed until the fourteenth bout was won, Earnest Chen took the strip. With his teammates watching him and cheering him on, he kept the score tight throughout the bout until the score was tied 4-4. His opponent pushed him to the end of the strip with a long attack but Chen came back strong with a well-timed riposte to win the bout. The Bulldogs leapt from their seats to surround Chen, cheering and giving high-fives to their teammate. Chen attributed his ability to pull out the all-important victory to this kind of support, saying "I fence so much better when I have a cheering squad!" Captain Isaac Shelanski then was tasked with winning the final bout. Both he and his opponent watched each other carefully, not wanting to take any chances as the scores remained tight. At 2-2, time ran out and the fencers went into one minute of sudden-death overtime. With the Bulldogs holding their breath as they watched, Shelanski scored the winning touch and secured his team's victory.
The Bulldogs ended their day against Columbia, last year's co-champions. While the Lions defeated Yale 16-11, the Bulldogs put up a good fight. Earnest Chen, Safi Haider, Walter Musgrave, Isaac Shelanski, and Andrew Zhang, all won the majority of their bouts against their formidable foes. Epee had winning record against Columbia, a team which is ranked first going into the second day of competition.
After day one, several Bulldogs are ranked in the top six of their weapon: Haider, Musgrave, and Shelanski. All-Ivy honors will be calculated after the tournament is complete, however things are looking up for the Bulldogs.
Tomorrow Yale will face UPenn and Brown at 12 PM and 2:45 PM, respectively. The competition will be held in the Lanman Center of the Payne Whitney Gymnasium.