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Near the beginning of the season, the varsity fencing team had dreams of finishing in first place. Those dreams were shattered very early this season by Columbia, Penn and Princeton, leaving the Crimson with the harsh reality of knowing that they may finish in the cellar if they don't beat Cornell this afternoon in Ithaca.
The Big Red fencing team is not particularly strong this year, having lost more matches than they have won. The only victory they have in the Ivies is against perennially weak Yale, beating them, 14-13. Harvard has yet to win an Ivy bout.
However, if the Crimosn has one talent this year, it is losing against very weak teams. Harvard had never lost to M. I. T. or Brandeis, until this year. Both these weak teams surprised the Crimson fencers and slipped past them in the late rounds.
Until Tom Keller returned to the team, the only Crimson fencer who won with regularity was All-American Larry Cetrulo.
The Crimson may have one advantage over the Cornell team; it beat them badly last year, winning 19 out of 27 bouts. "Psychologically, because of our big win against them last year, we could give them fits, and possibly win, " coach Edo Marion said Thursday.
Cornell may offset this Crimson advantage by one of its own. The Big Red is playing host to Harvard and, if any people show up to root for the Big Red, it could shake up the Crimson's nervous sophomores. When the Crimson lost to M. I. T. and Brandeis away from home, both teams had little experience but some fans.
At saber, Emil Godfrey will join Cetrulo and Rick Tolbert for the first time this season. John Reitz, Mark Irvings and Eliot Hurwitz will start at the epee for Harvard, while Keller will be joined at the foil by captain Cliff Ruderman and Gil Castle.
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