Haibin Wang, a two-time Olympic medalist and an International Fencing Federation Hall of Fame member, has been named the head coach of Yale’s men’s and women’s fencing programs, Director of Athletics Vicky Chun announced.
The Ivy League released its list of student-athletes selected for 2018-19 Academic All-Ivy honors in its winter sports today. There were 10 Bulldogs who thrived in their sport and in the classroom, as starters or key reserves on an officially recognized varsity team with 3.0 or better cumulative grade point averages honored.
After a season of impressive fencing results and strong performances at Regionals, five Bulldogs have earned spots at Nationals, which will be held in Cleveland, Ohio from March 21 to 24. Twenty-six fencers in each weapon earn their places at the NCAA National Championships and competition for these slots is fierce.
After a grueling day of fencing, the Bulldogs ended Regionals with five athletes making the final pool of their respective events. At Regionals, fencers compete as individuals, facing off in three rounds of pools with cuts after each round. Only the top third of entrants from around the Northeast make the final round of pools so for so many Bulldogs to make the final round is impressive.
The Bulldogs finished their first day of competition in the Ivy League Fencing Round-Robins with a 1-3 record, falling to Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia before finishing strong with a 16-11 win against Cornell.
The Bulldogs anticipate a strong performance at the Brandeis Invitational, the first official team competition of the year. Last year, the team swept the tournament, decisively defeating all four returning teams. The Bulldogs also hope to maintain their record against newcomer UNC.
All three squads - foil, epee, and saber - boast impressive results, with several Bulldogs making it into the direct elimination round. Pak and Zhou take home sixth and fifth places in foil, and Ma and Nam take home sixth and eight places in epee. Overall, the Garret Open represents a strong start to the season.
The women's fencing team, which opens its season this weekend, is bolstered by four new members this year. Joining the epée squad are two first-year recruits, Joy Ma of Merrick, New York, and Shirley Wang of Toronto, Canada. Ma and Wang bring their extensive experience to the squad, and both are formidable opponents to practice against in preparation for competition. Grace Baghdadi, a first-year walk-on from Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, stepped into an open position on the foil squad, allowing Yale to boast a full squad for the coming season. Yoanna Lazarova, a sophomore walk-on from Sofia, Bulgaria, is a similarly welcome addition to the saber squad, allowing them the flexibility to use alternates in their lineup.