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The varsity fencing team, with a dim hope of finishing fourth in the Ivy League, will battle for that spot this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. with a slightly favored Yale squad. The Crimson needs at least a 16-11 win today to nose out the Elis for fourth by one bout.
A win would put the varsity in a deadlock for fourth place with Yale--each with a 2-3 record. The finish would then be decided on the basis of total number of bouts won in Ivy competition.
Yale has, to date, wins over Penn and Princeton, and losses to Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson, however, has managed to defeat only Cornell of the four other Ivy teams.
Comparative scores, however, seem to make both teams more even. Against Penn, Yale won 15 to 12, while the Crimson lost by the same score. Yale defeated Penn, 15 to 12, and the varsity lost 18 to 9. Cornell downed the Blue, 16 to 11, while the Crimson won against the Big Red, 14 to 13.
Columbia Matches Revealing
But the real story lies in the Columbia matches. Yale lost to the Lions, 17 to 10, while the Crimson lost only 14 to 13. But the Elis won both the foil and sabre, 5 to 4, dropping epee without a win. The varsity won in foil and epee, 5 to 4, while losing in sabre, 6 to 3.
The Elis have a very good sabre squad--first in the league with 22 of 36 wins. The Crimson is also strong in sabre, but the division is prone to erratic performances. If the varsity can win the event or hold the Blue to a 4-5 win, a good performance in the other divisions would make the difference.
In both sabre and foil, questionable judging often can obscure the entire pattern of a match. Epee, which is electronically scored by a machine which registers each touch, is not open to the same variables.
This factor becomes especially important in the case of the Crimson, since all of the varsity's losses occurred on the road, with only the Princeton match marked by particularly good judging. Yale, however, has fenced much more at home. The director of today's match is considered to be very good, so the apparent advantage which Yale may have compiled through home judging may be partially overcome.
In foil, the Crimson should be a slight favorite. Coach Edo Marion has juggled his lineup somewhat to provide a stronger team. Peter Boyce has replaced captain Hubert Hocutt in the No. 1 slot; Hocutt has been put into reserve for the match. Mike Klapper will start in Boyce's customary second position, while Bill Trebilcock will fill out the event.
Sabre remains the big question mark. Marion will retain his usual lineup, with Mitch Thomas at No. 1. Doug Runnels and Dave Silbert will also start. Mike Woolf, from the "B" team, will be in reserve.
Yale will counter in the event with captain Ralph LiLore at No. 1, and lefty Bob Pohly in the second position. Pohly fenced last year in foil, and is expected to cause no little trouble in sabre today.
Doug Fitchen and Bob Scrivner will head the epee squad. Tony Enders has been promoted from the "B" team to start in the third slot, while Bill Chapple will be ready for substitution.
A good win in this event, with a close decision in sabre and the expected good margin in foil, could give the Crimson the 16-11 win it needs. But both the sabre and epee teams will have to be at top form to prevent Yale from reversing that score.
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