NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – The MIT women's fencing team amassed six top-10 placements in the season opening The Big One Invitational hosted by Smith College on Saturday. Sophomore Jessica Li (Englewood, Colo.) led the way with a third-place outing in foil, followed by freshman Cori Drysdale (Coral Springs, Fla.) who captured fifth in the sabre competition.
In addition to Drysdale, the sabre squad saw sophomore Cordelia Avery (New York, N.Y.) and junior Madison Douglas (Concord, Mass.) rank seventh and ninth, respectively. All three went 5-0 in their pools while Drysdale and Avery fell by identical 15-10 scores in the quarterfinals as Douglas lost, 15-11, in the round of 16. Senior Eliza Mace (Lansdowne, Pa.) recorded a career-best finish of 11th after going undefeated in pool play, overpowering her next two foes by 15-3 margins, before falling, 15-6, in the round of 16. Freshmen Anna Sophia Heidt (Owosso, Mich.) and Irena Martinez (Austin, Texas) ended the day in the 35th and 44th spots after bowing out in the first round of elimination play.
Li, who finished 18th in her rookie campaign last year, won her pool and then defeated freshman Jessica Hyde (Ashford, Conn.), 15-2, in the first round. She outlasted senior Rebecca Shi (Plainsboro, N.J.), 15-10, dismissed her next two opponents, 15-4, before falling in the semifinals by a 15-9 margin. Freshman Sophia Russo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) claimed ninth place by going 5-0 in her pool, besting foes with scores of 15-1 and 15-0, and then falling short in her round of 16 bout with a tally of 14-13. Freshman Carolyn Lu (Carlisle, Mass.) turned in a 4-1 performance in her pool, picked up a 14-10 victory, but then lost 15-5 in the round of 32. Shi, who was eliminated by Li in the second round, came in 27th, while sophomore Lynda Tang (San Jose, Calif.) and senior Sherry Ren (Beijing, China) recorded the best performances of their careers by claiming 31st and 36th place. Hyde, who also saw her day end early courtesy of Li, rounded out the squad in 59th place.
Junior Laura Jarin-Lipschitz (Rosemont, Pa.) led the epee team with a 10th-place performance as she went 5-1 in pool play, topped opponents 15-9 and 10-9, before being edged out, 15-13, in the round of 16. Junior Mounica Paturu (Acton, Mass.) and freshman Amelia Bryan (Tualtin, Ore.) advanced to the round of 32 where they finished 20th and 28th. Junior Cecilia Cisar (Cypress, Texas) along with sophomores Diana Hernandez (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Laura Tung (Palo Alto, Calif.) registered the best outings of their careers as they ranked 34th, 36th, and 51st.
Next up for MIT will be the first Northeast Fencing Conference competition of the year which the Engineers will host on Saturday, Nov. 15.