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Season in Review: Fencing

Apr 8, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. -- An abbreviated schedule and a small roster contributed to a truly unusual season. But the end, four All-Americans and the entire roster of five reaching the national championships, made it a season to remember for far better reasons. 

The squad of Haley Koo, Irene Yeu, Joy Yun, Donghwan Park, and Calvin Zau placed 11th at the National Collegiate Championships at Penn State, allowing Stanford to match its highest national finish since 2018. The five combined for a 62-47 record (.569 winning percentage) over the four-day tournament. 

Each of the women were freshmen and each were second-team All-Americans by finishing from fifth through eighth in their weapons. 

Yeu led after her first day of competition and finished fifth – one spot from the semifinals – while compiling a 15-6 record in the epee. Koo was sixth in the foil at 13-7, and Yun was seventh in the saber at 13-8.

For the men, Park, another freshman, went 12-11 to place 11th and earn honorable mention All-America honors, and Zau, a sophomore at his first nationals, went 9-14 to place 17th. Both were in the saber. 

This year, the Western Invitational acted as the preseason, season-opener, regular season, and the basis for national qualifying consideration from the West Region all in one. At the Western, held at Air Force, the Cardinal women went a combined 41-7 in individual bouts and the men went 20-13. 

Koo (15-1), Yeu (15-2), and Yun (11-4) each had the best record of anyone on any team in their weapon. For the men, Zau went 11-7 and Park 9-6. 

In all, the team went 123-66 (.651) in what must be a school record for combined winning percentage for a season. 

Here are the season records for each fencer:

Donghwan Park, 21-17 (.553)
Calvin Zau, 20-21 (.488)
Haley Koo, 28-8 (.778)
Irene Yeu, 30-8 (.789)
Joy Yun, 24-12 (.667)

Total: 123-66 (.651)

Main photo: Haley Koo.