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Women fencers 5th in regionals

By Martin Dickau

NEW YORK -- The women's fencing team put together another strong effort last weekend, finishing fifth in the 1985 NCAA Northeast Regional Women's Fencing Championships.

Captain Penina Axelrad '85, Ann Zabludoff '86, and Linda Ystueta '88 also participated in Sunday's individual competition, facing the nation's top-ranked women fencers.

Axelrad and Ystueta were both knocked out in the first round, but Zabludoff advanced to the finals, where she, too, fell victim to the prowess of first-ranked defending champion Katy Bilodeaux -- a former MIT coach Eric Sollee proteg'e -- and second-ranked Sharon Monplaisir.

The team competition was broken into two pools of four. MIT, which was seeded sixth in the eight-team tournament, was pooled with second-seeded Yale, third-seeded St. John's, and eighth-seeded Wellesley College.

The squad started well against St. John's, holding even after eight bouts, but St. John's pulled away to win, 9-5.

MIT went on to face Yale, which had destroyed Wellesley, 9-1, and fared little better, dropping a 9-2 decision. Zabludoff defeated Andrea Metkus, an Olympic fencing team member, and Ystueta defeated Beth Hull for the two victories.

The squad went on to face Wellesley, and pulled itself together for a 9-5 win. Zabludoff won all three of her bouts, and Karen Dryer '88, who fenced well -- bringing many bouts to 4-4 -- all day, chipped in two victories. Axelrad and Ystueta also added a pair each for the win.

MIT also defeated Hunter, 9-4, but missed fourth place when it lost to New York University, 9-6.

The championship's top three finishers -- Yale, St. John's, and Columbia -- advance to the NCAA national championships at Notre Dame in two weeks.

The top six individuals -- Columbia's Bilodeaux, Hunter's Monplaisir, Yale's Jessica Yu and Metkus, Cornell's Christine Hamori, and Columbia's Lisa Piazza -- also qualify for the nationals.