In the first international fencing match ever held at Harvard, the Crimson varsity swordsmen outfought their opponents from Britain's Sandhurst military academy by a score of 14-13 last night.
Foilsman Eugene Vastola emerged as the hero of Harvard's effort in the 27-bout match, clinching the victory for the Crimson with a crucial 5-4 win in the last duel of the evening.
With score 4-4 in Vastola's battle against Sandhurst's Denny, the last epee duel ended in favor of the British captain, Nick Reid, making the score of the match a cliff-hanging 13-12 and increasing the pressure on Vastola.
Vastola came through in the clutch, disengaging his blade after Denny attempted to parry his lunge, and touching the Englishman on the shoulder before being mobbed by rejoicing teammates surging off the Crimson bench.
Harvard skipper sabreman, John Chipman, also played a vital role in the Crimson victory, matching Vastola's perfect record by beating all three of his opponents. Chipman fenced extremely aggressively, scoring points off his victims with quick running lunges at their chests. After edging his first adversary, Ted Royall, 5-4, he destroyed his last two foes by devastating scores of 5-0, 5-2.
Bringing added strength to the Crimson team, junior Robert Homer, a first-year fencer, won two out of three bouts, highlighting his day with a victory over Sandhurst's Reid. In his win over the British captain, Homer twice parried a Reid attack, then followed with touches to Reid's mask.
Foilsman Eric Mandelbaum had Harvard's fourth winning record, lunging and parrying effectively to garner easy 5-1 and 5-3 victories.
In the epee division, Harvard used three swordsmen who had not fought on the varsity last year. Robert Tillman, Paul Eldrenkamp and Robert Kaplan all did their share, each winning against foes that included the two Englishmen who ran 1, 2 in the British under-20 military championships.
Tillman beat Reid in perhaps the most exciting match of the evening. After two double touches with the score 4-4, Tillman won with an easy point, as the Englishman left his midsection exposed after missing with a running lunge.
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