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The Harvard women's fencing team cut holes in the Rhode Island College team, slashing their way to a 15-1 victory in the season opener yesterday at Rhode Island.
Captain Nancy Cooper led the way for Radcliffe, outdueling the Rhode Island number one position, two bouts to none. Deborah Sze, Celine Larkin and Leslie Feter also touched home with perfect scores at 4-0, 4-0 and 2-0. Mary Holland won in the fourth spot by 3-1.
Cooper was ecstatic after the win and said yesterday, "We will definitely improve on last year's 5-6 record. This was a tremendous start, and we only lost one person from last year."
Bernadette Drankowski won in the top J.V. spot, 4-0. Captain Cooper praised her performance as "a great comeback from last year."
On the strip behind Drankowski was Jenny Laforet, Susan Rivitz, Sally Pasion and Melissa Scott dancing the J.V. to an impressive 13-3 triumph.
Cooper emphasized the importance of the junior squad's strong showing because the two teams juggle places when necessary. "These new kids are total novices except for Drankowski, and they did a great job over equally or more experienced fencers," Cooper said.
"Everyone was aggressive and their moves and tactics were very clean at such an early time of the season. This is only our third year and the team is on the rise," she added.
Celine Larkin who won her bouts 4-0, is returning from a year away from competition. After an almost flawless freshman season, the junior sustained a leg injury bad enough to prevent her fencing at all.
The team fenced without Kathy Lowry, an expected standout on the varsity who is dueling with tendonitis. She is expected to return to competition within 2 weeks.
At this early date the Radcliffe fencers appear to be headed for a successful season, and they have their entire schedule to practice for their toughest opponent, nationally ranked Brandeis. But this is also the team that started with four victories in their first five meets last year...
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