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The Harvard women’s and men’s fencing teams traveled to Ithaca, New York this past weekend to compete in the Ivy League Championships. The men’s team was triumphant, leaving the weekend as Ivy League Champions, while the women’s team finished fourth in the contest.
On the first day of competition, the men’s fencing team defeated both Penn and Yale to kick off the stakes-worthy tournament 2-0. An impressive 9-0 showing from the sabre team boosted the Crimson, with senior Filip Dolegiewicz, senior Mitchell Saron, and first-year Matthew Linksy winning all three of their bouts.
Harvard garnered a 20-7 win over Penn in the first match of the day and a 21-6 win over Yale in their second match. In their win against Yale, the sabre, epee, and foil teams all contributed 7-2 victories to give them the edge.
At the end of day 1, Dolegiewicz (sabre), Saron (sabre), Linsky (sabre), sophomore James Chen (foil), senior Kenji Bravo (foil), and junior Jonas Hansen (epee) each had five wins to lead the team.
A previous team record for most wins on the season was also broken on the first day. With 21 wins on the year already, the previous 20-win record set in the 2019-2020 season was surpassed.
Heading into the second day of the weekend, the Crimson placed second with a 2-0 record. Columbia was just ahead with a record of 3-0.
“Going into day two of the competition, Columbia and Harvard were the only two remaining undefeated teams, so we knew that we were on track for a final showdown against Columbia for the Ivy League Championship,” Dolegiewicz explained.
The Crimson were on fire on the second day of the Championships, as all three squads earned victories in their matchup against Princeton.
Once again, the sabre squad stood strong with a 7-2 win. Dolegiewicz and Saron won all three of their bouts. Along with the sabre squad, Chen and first-year Ark Ma (epee) won all three of their bouts.
The next and final match of the day was against Columbia for the Ivy League title.
“The mindset going into that final match was to trust in all of the work we put in throughout the season, take things one bout at a time, and fight with 100 percent intensity,” Dolegiewicz said.
Senior Daniel Solomon and Hansen each won three bouts to help the Crimson overcome Columbia with a final score of 16-11 and win the team Ivy League Championship.This marked a huge win for the Crimson, as Harvard has not won the Ivy League title since 2020, and placed second in 2022.
Not only did the overall team win the Ancient Eight Championship, but Dolegiewicz, the reigning men’s NCAA sabre champion, alongside Chen, were crowned individual champions for sabre and foil, respectively.
“Winning the individual Ivy League Title and the Ivy team championships in my senior year was definitely a major highlight in my career here at Harvard,” Dolegiewicz commented. “It felt like a massive accomplishment and the perfect way to cap off my senior year.”
“Being a senior on the team, it was an incredible feeling to have led the team to an Ivy League title just like the upperclassmen did when we won the title my freshman year.”
First Team All-Ivy honors were awarded to Dolegiewicz, Saron, Chen, Bravo, and Hansen.
With a dominant showing at the Championships, Dolegiewicz is optimistic about the NCAA regional and NCAA championship matches in March, which Harvard will host.
“Looking forward to regionals and the NCAA championships in March, our mindset will stay the same. Our goal for every competition is to dominate the other teams. We know we have the capability to win the NCAA championships, and we will give everything we have.”
As for the women’s team, it found itself tied for second heading into day two of the championships after going a perfect 3-0 on day one.
However, on the second day of the championships, Harvard fell short to Princeton 11-16 in the first match of the day.The Crimson also came up short against Columbia (7-20) and Penn (8-19) to finish off the tournament.
Junior Annora Lee (foil), first-year Zoe Kim (sabre), and sophomore Emily Vermeule (epee) all earned Second Team All-Ivy honors.
– Staff writer Caroline E. Behrens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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