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Neither a two-month layoff, reading period, exams nor intersession could hurt the Harvard men’s or women’s fencing teams.
Both teams swept their quartet of matches on Jan. 25 as the men improved to 5-0 and the women made it 4-1 on the season.
“I was not surprised by this weekend’s results,” said co-captain saber Scott Silver. “I was very confident in our team.”
The men downed host BC 22-5, Tufts 22-5, MIT 23-4 and Brown 21-6.
“MIT is a huge rival,” Silver said. “And it is the first time in four years we’ve beaten them. We are pretty evenly matched teams and there a lot of personal rivalries, so this was extra special.”
Freshman Tim Hagamen and junior Noah Fabricant went undefeated in saber, while freshman épée Julian Rose and junior épée Steve Milder came away with just one loss each.
“We proved against Columbia how good we could be,” Silver said. “We just have to see if we can be as good consistently. We were last weekend and beat them handily.”
On Nov. 24 Harvard defeated 13-time national champion Columbia 14-13 for the first time since 1978. In its first match since the upset, Harvard did not suffer a letdown.
In foil freshman Jon Carter, sophomore Phil Sherrill and co-captain Ben Schmidt also finished with just a single defeat.
Harvard coach Peter Brand used his deep bench, and most Crimson fencers saw action at some point.
“We used a lot of subs and they kept on winning,” Silver said. “It was not just the starters. We have great freshman recruits, but our saber team is pretty deep.”
The 22-5 victory over the Eagles avenges a single touch loss to B.C. a year ago.
Harvard faces Penn, NYU, Brandeis and Duke at the MIT Invitational this coming weekend.
“This is a big match against Penn,” Silver said. “We’re really gunning for the Ivy League championships and this is very important. Penn is strong in foil and épée, but a little young in saber. We’ve already gotten Columbia, now we’re shooting for Penn and Princeton.”
On the women’s side, the Crimson topped BC 18-9, Tufts 22-5, MIT 17-10 and Smith College 21-6.
The foil fencers paced the Crimson sweep with a 43-2 record, led by freshman Chloe Stinetorf who went 15-0.
Junior co-captain Liz Blase and freshman Anne Austin finished 14-1 to complete Harvard’s dominance in foil.
“This weekend we took our individual intensity and focused on the team,” Blase said. “We were really pumped and energized to do well as a team.”
Harvard responded well after a long break since its last action against Columbia.
“We had a couple of weeks of practice before Christmas break, but it was tough during exams,” Blase said. “People came in to work on their own and take lessons, however, which really helped last weekend.”
The women face Cornell this Saturday before heading to the MIT Invitational on Sunday to face multiple opponents, including Penn.
“That is going to be totally tough,” Blase said. “Penn always fields a good team.”
—Staff writer Timothy Jackson can be reached at email@example.com.
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