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Fencing is a sport that has sometimes been referred to as "physical chess." The Harvard fencing teams engaged in these battles of physical chess as they traveled to Princeton for meets against Princeton and Yale this weekend.
The result was four checkmates against the Crimson.
The men's team lost to Princeton and Yale by identical 11-16 scores. The women's team fell to Princeton 13-19 and suffered a 5-27 defeat to Yale.
Both matches for the men's Crimson team were hard-fought contests.
"They were closer than some of us realized," freshman Mark Lee said. "We probably could have pulled off a win if we had pushed a little harder."
Senior captain Michal Gattner came away undefeated on the day with six wins in the epee division over fencers from the opposing two squads. He was joined in success by senior epee teammate Andrew Prihodko, who chipped in with five wins.
The sabre and foil teams didn't fare as well for the men. The two teams combined for eight wins on the day.
The bright point for the women's team was the close loss to Princeton.
Senior captain Jill Katz and freshman Tamara Knutsen both went 4-0 in the foil division against the Tigers.
Junior Valerie Uzzell provided two wins from the epee team.
The Yale match was a little tougher. Uzzell contributed two of the Crimson's five total wins.
"Harvard women's fencing is in a transition year," Katz said. "Our foil team is relatively inexperienced. Yale had four returning starters. We have also lost a lot of epee fencers [to graduation]."
This weekend is the Intercollegiate Fencing Association tournament at MIT, where the Crimson did well at last year.
"These losses are making us more determined," Lee said. "We are going to be working hard this week.
"A lot of the team has done really well, but not quite well enough to pull off those crucial wins."
This weekend will be another chance for the Crimson to pull off some Kasparov-esque performances.
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