The varsity men's fencing team cut a strong Yale team to pieces, 17-10, Saturday in a fitting finale to one of the best seasons the team has had in years.
The meet, which gave the Harvard foil squad a first-place Ivy ranking for the first time in nearly 30 years, marked the culmination of four years of building and training a strong Harvard team, captain Steve Biddle said yesterday.
"Everyone peaked at the same time on the same day. We blew Yale out of the gym," Biddle said. "They were dumb-founded by the margin. It's been a long time since they were whipped as soundly as they were yesterday."
The women's team did not fare so well, letting a couple of initial defeats slip into a 4-12 rout.
"We fenced really well at the beginning and end, but after our first two starters lost labelle bouts, we got desperate and lost control," Suzie Rivitz, captain of the women's team, said.
But in the last few minutes--after falling behind, 11.1--the team rallied and won three of the last four bouts. "After we lost we just went out and fenced," Rivitz added.
The Bulldogs, traditionally a major power in the Ivies and Harvard's arch-rival on the strip--looked flerce when they invaded the IAB, but a psyched and ready Harvard team marched out to battle and beat the Elis on every front.
Led by an almost unstoppable foil squad--which lost only two of nine bouts--both the sabre and epee teams rallied and turned in winning scores for their rounds. Three of the nine swordsmen took all their bouts, and three more went 2-1.
Coach Ben Zivkovic particularly praised the performance of epeeman Bill Marshall. Marshall, normally the squad's fourth-ranked fencer, was started in the number-two position after the regular number-two man got sick.
"He went on to win all his bouts," Zivkovic said, adding, "Bill Marshall is definitely a hero today."
Dave Hanower and Dave Merner, Harvard's number one and two foilsmen, also went 3-0 for the meet. They have an excellent chance of being the top two all-Ivy selections.
"This meet makes the entire year for the team," Biddle said. "And as far as J'm concerned, it makes my entire college career."