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Fencing Picks up Wins at Home

By Perry Hooker

TEAM MEMBER

The men’s and women’s fencing teams faced a host of strong opponents this Sunday at MIT’s annual invitational meet. Coming off strong performances last weekend at Boston College, both teams began the day well rested and with high expectations. Unfortunately, the Engineers ended the day with mixed results. The men finished off the four-match day at 2-2 and the women at 3-1.

Eleven schools made the trip to Cambridge to compete; UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, Cornell, NYU, and Yeshiva University all faced MIT.

The first team the Engineers faced was longtime rival UNC. Though both the men’s and women’s teams began slowly, each entered the final round of bouts within striking distance of their opponents. A late rally by the epeeists gave the men’s team hope, but it was not to be and the men lost 14-13.

The women fared better, as clutch wins in the final round by Clarissa Y. Smith ’04, Dianne K. Allen ’01, and Susan A. Juan ’02 gave the women the victory by a score of 14-13.

With scant time to recover after a difficult first round, the Engineers immediately faced their second opponent, Duke University. An impressive six wins by the men’s epee squad gave the men the early advantage, but Duke was able to battle back and again force the match to the final round of fencing.

This time, Oliver J. Chadwick ’02 and Brian T. Rosenfeld ’04 took key wins to give the men the victory, 14-13. Chadwick, Paul J. Thordarson ’01, and Neal K. Devaraj ’02 all went undefeated against Duke.

Similarly, Jennifer A. Lue ’03 and Jennifer A. McKeehan ’01 led the women’s team to victory by maintaining a perfect record. The women’s team won 15-12.

Strengthened by their victories, the Engineers moved on to challenge fencing powerhouse New York University. The women’s team performed brilliantly, and claimed a remarkable 20-7 victory. Not a single member of the women’s team lost more than two bouts to NYU, and Smith, Allen, and Joan Hon ’01 all went undefeated.

On the men’s side, the foil squad of Chadwick, Rosenfeld, and Andre D. Van Horne ’01 turned in an extraordinary five victories versus a top-notch NYU team. Their performance was not enough, however, and the men lost 17-10.

In the final round of competition, the MIT men faced Yeshiva University and the women battled Cornell. Incredibly, the women’s sabre squad, despite the absence of their captain and leading fencer, didn’t lose a single bout to Cornell. However, the Cornell ladies were able to weather the storm, and the MIT women suffered a disappointing 14-13 loss.

The men faced little difficulty, on the other hand, and dispatched Yeshiva 20-7.