The Harvard men's fencing team speared Brandeis, 17-10, last night at the Malkin Athletic Center, boosting its season record to 4-0
Epee swordsmen Captain Jim O'Neill and Adam Weintraub dominated, each winning all three of their bouts and contributing to the 8-1 slaughter in the epee event--Harvard's long-standing warhorse. Foil contenders finished with a 5-4 score and sabre contenders, who are a notably young but promising group, won four out of nine bouts.
"It went as well as I though it should have gone--last year was not expected," Coach Branimir Zivkovic said, referring to the Crimson's 15-12 defeat by Brandeis last year--its first non-Ivy loss in two years.
Crimson fencers broke away early winning two bouts for each one the Judges won until the end of the second round, when it led, 12-6. Brandeis forfeited an early foil match after substituting a fencer without prior notification.
And though continuing to push Brandeis fencers deep into their own alleys amidst a rowdy group from Waltham, Harvard dropped its lead slightly in the sabre and foil events as the final round began. Then Adam Weintraub edged away the first epee bout, scoring Harvard's 14th point, securing the victory.
The Crimson finished off the Judges with two slaughters in the epee and one in the foil.
The Crimson rebounded yesterday after barely defeating MIT Tuesday night, 14-13, a match Harvard swordsmen said they staggered through.
"We got a Christmas gift yesterday--an early Christmas gift," Zivkovic said. "We really did not deserve it."
O'Neill said Tuesday's close call spurred epee contenders, who won only three of their nine bouts against the Engineers to thrust, lunge and guard more tightly against the Judges.
But the young team faces tougher competition this weekend in its second Ivy League match when it meets top-ranked Columbia.
"Epee should do reasonably well," O'Neill said. "But sabre--well, Columbia's sabre is unbeatable--and foil will be tough."