COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 20, 2015) – The épeé team of Christina Meyer (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. / Hackley School), Constance Robinson (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) and Catherine Pavlov (Woodside, Calif. / Menlo School) posted a combined 14 individual wins at 6,000-foot altitude against several Division I schools at the Western Invitational held at the Air Force Academy on Saturday.
"The altitude was the toughest opponent of the day, making some of the longer bouts more difficult than normal," Emilia Hernandez (Fairfield, Conn. / Hopkins School) said. "Despite tough losses early in the day against UCSD and Duke, the women's foil team was able to pull off a team win against Stanford. Senior Katie Fisher got in two wins against Brandeis, and she led the team with her upbeat attitude, making a very difficult defeat against Northwestern a bonding experience. Sophomore Stephanie Moon, in only her second fencing season, has continued to improve and never gave up even against some of the top fencers in the country."
Meyer and senior Katie Fisher (Chapel Hill, N.C. / East Chapel Hill) opened the event with a victory apiece in épeé and foil, respectively, against local rival UC San Diego. Meyer and Robinson then took points against Duke University in the second match.
Pavlov burst onto the scene in the third matchup, leading épeé to a 6-3 victory over the University of Florida as the squad jumped out to a 3-0 lead and clinched the match soon after at 5-1.
"We fenced really well against Florida's épeé team, unfortunately their other two teams were delayed by weather and missed the tournament, but we really would have liked to see how we did against them too," Head Coach Carla Corbit said.
The Beavers carried the momentum into their next matchup against Stanford University as both the épeé and foil teams recorded 5-4 victories over the Cardinal. With Stanford a fencer short in each weapon, Caltech was awarded three automatic points and capitalized on the advantage, with Meyer and Robinson taking a bout each to seal the épeé win and Pavlov nearly adding an insurance point in a 4-5 defeat. Fisher opened foil with a win, and after Stanford pulled ahead 3-2, Hernandez tied things up and closed the match out with the deciding bout. Shi En Kim (Malaysia / Anderson Junior Coll.) got saber on the board with a victory as well.
"Christina Meyer was our anchor against Stanford with three victories," Corbit. "Last season's new fencer, Connie Robinson, had a victory and Catherine Pavlo who played her freshman year and has just returned as a junior, had a win also."
Brandeis proved a tougher opponent in the fifth matchup of the day, but Fisher took a pair of bouts in foil while Robinson and Kim added to their tallies with a win apiece in épeé and sabre, respectively. Meyer led off the ensuing Northwestern University battle with a win for the Beavers' only point against the perennial Top-10 program.
Caltech saved one of its best performance for last, going up against the host Falcons. Pavlov led an épeé team which scored at least two touches in all nine bouts, but suffered a quartet of 5-4 losses to end up on the short end of an 8-1 defeat. Fisher also took one bout in the foil, but the saber squad captured everyone's attention in the finale.
"It was amazing, it was the end of the day and you could really see that most of the teams were fading a bit, except Air Force who trains at this altitude," Corbit said. "Kim and Jenny were facing a huge Air Force audience and missing a player on our team, we were really the underdogs."
Kim and Jisoo Mok fought their way back to a 4-4 tie with a pair of victories apiece, leaving Kim with a chance to swing the matchup in the final bout, which she battled to a 4-4 tie before going down on the final touch.
"The once very loud Air Force cheering section was so quiet during the final match, with the bout score tied at 4-4," Corbit said. "It may not have been a typical triumphant story, but it is really, we made that last push and had the hunger and drive to win. It was almost perfect and I think that they will do it next time."
Corbit and the Beavers will participate in the premier Northwestern Duals event the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.