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The Crimson fencing team, coming off a shaky 17-10 win over SMU, takes on cross-town rival MIT this evening in a 7 p.m. match at the IAB. The Engineers are not expected to give Harvard a serious challenge in the contest.
The Crimson turned back MIT twice last year, winning a close 14-13 match in December via a last-bout victory by foil man Dave Fichter, and humbling the Engineer squad, 18-9, in the February rematch.
This year MIT should be strongest in sabre, with all three members of last year's first team returning. The sabre squad is led by captain John Tsang, who will fence number one. C. Dong Park and Michael Wong round out the Engineer sabre team.
The MIT strength in sabre creates an interesting match-up for the Crimson sabre squad. Last year, Harvard's sabre fencing backboned the Crimson's second place finish in the Ivies and was consistently tough all year. The bouting between captain Terry Valenzuela, Gordon Rutledge, and Walter Morris and their MIT counterparts should be the highlight of the match.
In the point weapon competition, Harvard should have little difficulty outclassing MIT. Engineer coach Eric Sollee lost his two top foil men from last year and has been forced to convert Monty Fraeman from epee to make up for it. Consequently, the Harvard foil fencers, Phillipe Bennett, Howie Weiss, and Dave Fichter, should have little trouble.
In epee MIT is young and inexperienced. Sollee is using three sophomores, and their chances against the more experienced Crimson epee trio led by freshman Chris Jennings, must be rated slim at best. Eugene White and John Hirschfeld will fence at numbers two and three, respectively, for Harvard.
Although Sollee predicted that the match could be as close as 15-12 in favor of Harvard, both he and Harvard coach Edo Marion agreed that the Crimson is too strong for the Engineers.
"I don't think we'll have much trouble," Marion said yesterday.
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