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The Crimson fencers tuned up for today's match with Ivy League fencing power Penn by trouncing Rutgers, 20-7, yesterday afternoon at the IAB.
The Crimson dominated every event, taking an early lead from the Scarlet Knights and never letting them within striking distance after the first round.
Once again, the sabre team led the victory parade. Gordon Rutledge and Terry Valenzuela swept three bouts each and Ken Hetzler took two, as the sabre squad took eight out of nine contests.
The epee team was not far behind, winning seven out of nine bouts. Eugene White led the way with three victories without a loss. Geza Tatrallyay and Ken Bartels, returning after a week of inactivity to win two bouts each, supported White.
The foil squad, despite Dave Fichter's undefeated performance, was the major disappointment of the match. Against less skilled Rutgers performers. Harvard's foil men barely edged the Scarlet Knights in the event, 5-4.
The most impressive performance of the afternoon was authored by Hetzler in the second round. Quickly falling behind, 4-0, he fought his way back to win, 5-4.
The return to action of Bartels, who has been out with a virus infection since last Monday's Cornell match, gave a real boost to the epee squad. Bartels figures prominently in coach Edo Marion's plans for Penn. Tatrallyay, still hobbled by a sore foot which he jammed in a dormitory door on Tuesday, came back to action to win two bouts. His return, and that of Bartels, bolstered the Crimson's chances for success against Penn today.
Harvard, particularly the epee squad, will need all the bolstering it can muster against the Quakers. The Crimson lost, 16-11, last year and the epee men dropped eight out of nine individual bouts.
"The epee and foil competitions will decide who wins the match." Tatrallyay said yesterday. "We (the epee squad) must do much better than last year, if we are to win."
Marion was more optimistic. "If our sabre team wins eight out of nine matches tomorrow, as we did today, we will have nothing to worry about," he said.
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