In a tedious match that dragged on for four hours because of officiating controversy, the Brandeis men's fencing team upset a stronger Crimson squad, 14-13, last night at Brandeis.
"We are not going to fence at Brandeis again as long as I coach here," a disgusted Branmir Zivkovic said after the match. "We don't need to be exposed to that kind of ignorance."
The poor officiating, which time and again cost the Crimson swordsmen valuable touches, also dampened the team's morale.
"When Coach Zivkovic had to continually go out and explain the rules to the director, it upset the flow of the match," Harvard foil captain David Hanower said. "As a result we lost our emotion and our confidence."
With Harvard leading the match 10-7, a 45 minute controversy over a touch had Zivkovic ready to call it a day.
"We started to pack up and leave. Just as we were going out the door, the director--who also coaches Brandeis' sabres--reversed his decision, giving us the touch," Zivkovic said. "We came back, but we paid the price for it."
Harvard had taken a commanding 7-2 lead after the first round, winning the foil and sabre by 2-1 scores, and capturing the epee, 3-0.
In the final two rounds, the foilsmen continued their winning ways, 3-0 and 2-1, but the fencers in the sabre and epee events could only come up with one more victory between them.
Brandeis piqued the Crimson's anger by continually asking that Harvard's weapons and jackets be tested.
"The team became totally psyched out," Hanower said, adding, "We were ahead 13-10, but we just couldn't win any of the last four matches."
The final results showed the Crimson winning easily in the foil--7-2--but getting edged out in the epee, 5-4, and slashed in the sabre, 7-2.
The swordsmen--now even at 2-2--will get a chance to push their record on the winning side when they meet Holy Cross.