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Crimson Fencers Edge Penn, 14-13

Tatrallyay Triumph Saves Harvard


For drama and excitement there has been nothing like it in years. Harvard Captain Geza Tatrallyay, fencing in his last home match, defeated Penn's Ernesto Fernandez in the last bout of the afternoon to give the Crimson a come-from-behind 14-13 win Saturday at the IAB.

The situation: With the score tied. 13-13. Tatrallyay and Fernandez Mexican national epee champion, paired off in the last bout. The match and second place in the Ivies hung in the balance.

The Crimson, which had amassed an early round lead behind an awesome sabre performance, had watched that lead dwindle as the foil and epee squads failed to mount a supporting attack. The Harvard point men, having won but two bouts in the first two rounds, had to win three in the final frame for Harvard to win.

The foil men battled for two wins, the epee squad lost two. The stage was set for Tatrallyay to pull last-minute heroics out of his hat and save the Crimson.

Harvard Hopes Soar

Harvard hopes soared when Tatrallyay jumped to a 3-0 lead. However, Fernandez, refusing to be intimidated, fought back to close to within one point, 4-3.

The Crimson, painfully aware of other transitory leads that had ended in losses earlier in the afternoon, began to feel the pangs of uneasiness that precede disaster. However, Tatrallyay's fifth and winning point put Harvard at ease, as the team erupted into a shrieking coyote yell--the squad's victory salute.

The match, which gave Harvard sole possession of second place in the Ivies with a 3-1 record, had started auspiciously for the Crimson. The sabre squad, a dominant force throughout the contest, grabbed three quick wins to send Harvard into an early lead. Gordon Rutledge, coming from a 4-1 deficit. Ken Hetzler, and Terry Valenzuela, each disposed of their Quaker foes with striking alacrity.

It soon became evident, however, that the foil and epee squads were not to share in the sabre men's success. Sam Anderson and Tatrallyay, in foil and epee, respectively, were the only Harvard point performers to win in the first two rounds.

The Crimson nearly picked up another first-round win. Eugene White, Crimson hard-luck candidate for a day, lost 5-4, in an epee bout that went almost three minutes into overtime. Nevertheless, Harvard led the meet 5-4.

Round Two

Round two was a virtual repeat performance of round one. Harvard swept the sabre events once again, but the point teams performed poorly. Foil man Don Valentine won, 5-4, but no one else in foil or epee could manage a win. The epee men dropped three straight to allow Penn to win the round and tie the match, 9-9.

As the third round started, it became clear that the sabre squad could not afford to lose a bout, if the Harvard team was to win.

"If anyone on the sabre team loses," Valenzuela lamented before the third round, "he's going to feel like a bum, became that could be the match."

When Hetzler was deprived two touches by director's decision in third round sabre action, he not only lost his bout but also jeopardized Harvard's chances for a team win. The Crimson had their backs against the wall and the foil and epee squads knew it.

However, the foil men rebounded to grab two victories, as Valentine and Dave Fichter kept the Crimson alive. The epee squad needed one win in three bouts to sew up the triumph, Ken Bartels opened epee action by losing, and he was followed by White, who dropped another close 5-4 decision. It all came down to Tatrallyay in the last bout, and Geza sent the Crimson home happy.

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