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Fencing Wins West Point Meet

By Ifung Lu
Team Member

The fencing team exhibited great determination and skill in the multiple dual varsity meet held at West Point on Jan. 22. This young but mentally strong team performed brilliantly, defeating two out of three teams, including the United States Military Academy.

The men's team crushed Vassar College in the first round, with an overall score of 18 to 9. This emphatic victory was highlighted by the epee squad's total domination of the fencing strips, taking all nine bouts fought. Men's sabre also dominated, winning seven of nine bouts.

Next to feel the MIT heat was the USMA. Although the army cadets put up a good effort, they eventually succumbed to the pressure, losing to MIT, 13-14. The foil squad acquired the crucial point, defeating their opponents, five bouts to four. The epee squad also defeated their opponents by the same point margin.

Johns Hopkins was the only loss for MIT. The Engineers fought bravely, parrying off attacks and attacking till the very end, but lost 10-17. Things were not to be, as foil and epee took only three and two rounds respectively. Sabre, on the other hand, won by a narrow margin, taking five bouts to four.

Erik DeBonte's struggle against a Vassar epeeist characterized the intensity of the MIT fencing team. Caught with a 4-0 deficit, he discovered that his weapon did not have a sensor, which registers touches against the opponent. Because of DeBonte's equipment failure, the last point was taken away from his opponent, making the score 3-0. With 37 seconds left on the clock, DeBonte rallied and tied up the score at three a piece. Time ran down, but DeBonte managed to get the final touch and win the bout for MIT during sudden death.

The women's team fought only one match, because other women's teams failed to show up. Nevertheless, this all freshmen team stood their ground and decisively defeated the USMA cadets 13-3. Dynamic fencing, combining attacks, and strategic retreats led to their decisive victory on the army's home turf.

Saturday, the women will travel to Brandeis to fence in multiple dual meets there. The men will host the largest home meet in MIT history this Sunday. Twelve NCAA teams including Princeton University, New York University, and the Air Force Academy will duel it out in Johnson Athletic Center.