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The fencing team travelled to Philadelphia and lost to the University of Pennsylvania Friday 15-12, dashing the Crimson's hopes for sole possession of the Ivy League Championship. Saturday the swordsmen defeated a weak Columbia squad that has yet to win an Ivy League contest, 15-12.
"It was a pretty lackluster weekend," senior co-captain John Major said yesterday. A disappointed Coach Ben Zivkovic criticized what he saw as poor officiating: "We couldn't beat the directors at Penn. The judging was a disgrace."
John Maxwell, the director of the Penn match, fenced for the Quakers four years ago. "He was a poor director who made totally biased mistakes," Major said. "When you fence saber you must fence the director. We didn't do that."
"When you run into judging that you have no faith in, you lose faith in your ability to score. You must believe that the director will be impartial and will award you the touches that you make. This definitely was not the case at Penn," Major explained.
The Crimson's saber and foil units lost to the Quakers 4-5 and 3-6 respectively, while the epee men won 5-4. Co-captain and number one epee man Matt Simmons "shined all weekend," Major said. Simmons won two of three duels at Penn, losing only to Randy Eggleton, last year's NCAA champ, 5-4.
Against Columbia Simmons and foilman Eugene Vastola starred for the Crimson as each carved out 3-0 records for the match. The epee squad won 6-3, while the foils edged the Lions, 5-4. The sabers lost 4-5.
At saber Michael Bierer fought to two victories and Russ Graham "fenced smart," Major said, winning twice against one defeat. John Chipman, the Crimson's number one saberman, lost all three of his bouts by the score of 5-4. In the foils, Major was 2-1, but Eric Mandelbaum dropped three duels and Vastola posted a 3-0 record.
The team was so disappointed by the Penn match that "we just wanted to beat Columbia and get out of town," the number one foilman said. "We should have beaten them by a larger score. But Chipman and Mandelbaum went 0-3 and we still won," Major said.
Piece of the Pie
The swordsmen take on Yale at 2 p.m. this Saturday, at the I.A.B. A victory against the Elis will give the Crimson a share of the Ivy League championship with Penn and Cornell. Harvard defeated the Big Red earlier this season, 17-10.
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