Summary of Vassar and Brandeis Duals - Dec. 1-2, 2012
The Carolina Varsity Fencing Team took its first steps toward a successful dual meet season at Vassar and Brandeis Dec. 1-2. At Vassar our men's and women's teams fenced well against strong opponents, producing tough wins against NYU, Sacred Heart and Vassar for the men. The women had wins against NYU and Vassar and a narrow 13-14 loss to Sacred Heart. Both men and women had competitive results against stronger top 10 programs Penn, Harvard and Princeton.
On Sunday at Brandeis the women fenced much more consistently with four wins and two losses. The loss to Boston College was 13-14. Their final match of the weekend was against a strong Brown team that they fought back to win 14-13 in the final bouts (incorrectly reported as a loss earlier). The men started well against Brandeis and Boston College with wins, but closed the day with inconsistent performances against Yale, MIT and Brown.
Both the men's and women's teams fenced without two regular starters each for most of the weekend. Injuries, some minor and others more long term, were a large factor, especially on the second day of competition. This is part of any athletic endeavor, and while I am disappointed we could not use all of our most experienced athletes, others gained invaluable experience against strong opponents that will help us later in the season.
Top individual performances were by Joe Alter (foil) and Sam Austin (sabre) with 20 wins and 11 losses. The entire sabre squad fenced very well and won 50% or better of their bouts (Jon Blake, Jackson Bryant-Comstock, Gordon Long and injured Captain Nate Wiecha). Freshman Collins Allison went 12-11 and injured starter Hayden Haberle was 8-5 on the first day (unable to compete the second day at Brandeis) for the epee squad.
Jenna Rodrigues was the top performer in women's foil with a record of 13-21 (10-8 the second day). For women's sabre, Gill Litynski went 26-9 and Sara Leung was 22-14. Kacie Albert (22-11) and Lidea Shahidi (19-13) led the women's epee squad. All three women's squads improved the second day at Brandeis, especially women's foil.
Overall, both men and women did better against the top teams than we did at the same competition last season, but we were more inconsistent against the remainder of the field. It was a good start, but we can and will do better as we head into the majority of our dual meet schedule next semester.