Competing in fencing dual meets at Penn State on Saturday, the UNC men went 2-3 and the women 2-4. But it was a day in which the records didn't tell the entire story.
"It was an
interesting weekend," UNC fencing coach Ron Miller said. "Our men's team was
down almost half of our regular starters and first alternates. Nate
Wiecha (sabre), Jon Blake (sabre) and Parker Williams (epee) were injured and
could not compete at all. Gordon Long (sabre) was at a funeral, Ian Kanar
(foil) could not travel due to academic conflicts, and Joe Alter (foil) was
hampered all day with an injury sustained just before we departed. In
spite of all these setbacks, the men still won two and suffered three
"Our women's team, led by our epee squad, had a good day. Everyone in all weapons showed improvement, and we made it through the day with no injuries. We fenced much better than the record showed."
On the men's side,
UNC beat Haverford (14-13) and Drew (19-8) and fell to Penn (20-7), Columbia
(20-7) and host Penn State (26-1). The women also beat Haverford (14-13) and
Drew (21-6) and lost to Columbia (14-13), Temple (18-9), Penn (20-7) and Penn
"PSU, Penn, Columbia and Temple are all top-10 teams, and although our men struggled for a large number of individual wins, they fenced with courage and energy all day," Miller said. "The women put up more individual and squad victories, with a narrow 13-14 loss to Columbia, and our epee squad winning five of six times. The most significant win was for women's epee coming against host Penn State in the opening round.
"Individually, Allie Mead (women's epee) was 13-4 and Gillian Litynski (women's sabre) was 11-3. Kacie Albert (women's epee), Lidea Shahidi (women's epee), Kelley Hamill (women's epee) and Sara Leung (women's sabre) all had great days. On the men's side, Joe Alter (men's foil), Jackson Bryant-Comstock (men's sabre) and Sam Austin (men's sabre) garnered most of our individual victories. Men's sabre and men's epee each had two squad wins.
"Despite the frustration of not having key members of our team available, all of our less experienced men stepped up and gave it their best. We hope to return everyone to competition in two weeks when we travel to Temple and NYU."
The Tar Heels return to action on Jan. 26, with the women fencing at Temple. The men compete at NYU the following day.