The Crimson fencers were tourists in New York this weekend, amid the neon panorama, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, looking for action.
Harvard came back feeling like the tourist who has had his billfold, watch, and cufflinks removed by skillful fingers, only to be mugged on the way to the airport.
The Crimson fencers lost matches with Columbia and CCNY in rather unimpressive fashion. The 20-7 loss to Columbia was not a great surprise to even the most optimistic of Harvard men. The Lions are the strongest team in the country, a good bet to be at or near the top of the NCAA's when the season is over.
Captain Geza Tatrallyay and junior Ken Bartels, who excelled in both matches, each took two of three bouts in epee. Unfortunately, no one else was able to follow their lead, and the Lions prevailed in epee, 5-4. In sabre and foil, the Crimson was even more ineffective, losing by 8-1 and 7-2 scores, respectively.
Freshman Scott Feldman provided Harvard with a pleasant surprise in the foil, topping Columbia's Bob Berger, who had placed third in the NCAA's last year. Coach Edo Marion said yesterday that it was great to see that Feldman was such a competitor. "He fought like a lion." Marion said.
CCNY a Mystery
CCNY was a mystery to Harvard. On Friday Marion had cautioned that CCNY tended to fluctuate from good to bad., Last year Harvard completely outclassed the Beavers. 22-5. Friday the roles were reversed. CCNY prevailed, 16-11.
The Beavers were very strong in foil, shutting out the Crimson, 9-0. Harvard retaliated by winning epee, 7-2. Tatrallyay and Bartels led the attack by sweeping three bouts each.
The Crimson is strongest in sabre, but Harvard was able to do little, losing 8-1. "CCNY completely blocked our sabre team." Marion said.
Despite the failures of the Crimson to return as the conquering hero, there was a faint silver lining to an otherwise dark weekend. Tatrallyay and Bartels were outstanding, each winning five of six bouts. Against Columbia. Ken Hetzler fenced very well, although he won only one of three bouts. Hetzler dropped two close 5-4 encounters, one to NCAA champ Bruce Soriano, but reversed the score in winning his third bout.