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The MIT followers tried everything their mathematical brains could think of but the Engineers' manipulations couldn't alter the plain fact that when the Harvard-MIT fencing match ended at 10:15 last night the score added up to a 15-12 victory for the Crimson.
Senior foilsman Eric Mandelbaum played the key role in Harvard's win. Mandelbaum fenced superbly, beating last year's ECAC foil champion Mark Smith 5-3. Mandelbaum refused to be intimidated by his 6-ft., 2-in. opponent and took advantage as Smith fenced tentatively, failing to lunge with his usual quickness and authority.
Mandelbaum fenced intelligently, winning his second bout 5-2 with a tactically brilliant last tough. Ahead 4-2 with only 10 seconds left in the bout (there is a four minute time limit in each duel), Mandelbaum guessed correctly that his opponent Geoff Pingree would make a reckless attack to try and get back in the match.
As Pingree flung his blade forward at chest level Mandelbaum squatted down near to the ground and delicately poked the engineer in the stomach.
Mandelbaum fenced perfectly, winning all three of his bouts. He dueled his way to his third victory, 5-4, by coming back from two points down in the last minute.
Lest the reader get the wrong impression, Mandelbaum was not the only Harvard fencer on the strip last night. Of the others, sophomore epeeman Robert Kaplan came through in the clutch defeating Criss Morkawa 5-0 to garner the match-clinching fourteenth bout for the Crimson.
Kaplan attacked mercilessly and beat the seemingly defenseless Morkawa in less than a minute.
Sabreman Robert Homer also deserves note as he swept to 5-2 victories in all three of his bouts.
Homer's fellow sabreman, captain John Chipman and foilsman Eugene Wastola also gathered winning records for Harvard, beating their opponents two out of three times.
After two matches this year the Harvard fencing team has conquered the British in the shape of the Sandhurst military academy, and now MIT.
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