The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Before achieving greatness, there is usually one final nemesis every team must overcome. For the Penn men's fencing team, that final challenge took the form of Princeton. The Quakers conquered that barrier on Sunday with a performance good enough to avenge their lone Ivy League defeat of a year ago. "It's terrific," Penn senior captain epeeist Charles Hamann said. "Since day one, we've been preparing to beat Princeton and we were pretty sure it would be for the Ivy League title." The 15-12 decision for the Red and Blue (11-2, 3-0 Ivy League) was decided by Penn's dominant foilists, who took their bouts, 8-1. The Quakers' foilists were highlighted by 3-0 sweeps from senior Yaron Roth and sophomore Yale Cohen. Freshman foilist Jeff Breen also added two wins on the afternoon. Jeffrey Lee went 2-1 on sabre, as Penn was 4-5 on the day for the weapon. Scott Eriksen contributed a 2-1 performance on epee, including the victory that clinched the match. Overall, the epeeists finished 3-6 on the afternoon. "I knew our foil team could dominate. The sabre was able to pull out a split. Every bout is huge in a match like this... and they all add up cumulatively," Penn coach Dave Micahnik said. "The epees won one a year ago [against Princeton] and they won three this year. That was the difference in the final." Each squad was emotional from beginning to end as the Quakers and the Tigers tried to cheer their teams to victory. "In championship matches, emotions run high and it was expected on both sides," Hamann said. Hamann led the team to an enthusiastic charging entrance before the match. "There are quite a few leaders on this team and I consider myself one," Hamann said. "The younger guys look up to me and we set a good example by winning." After a 5-4 Penn advantage through the first round of play, the match took a huge turn for the Red and Blue. The sabres -- the Quakers' weakest link in the early matches of the season -- opened up the second round with a 3-0 sweep. Penn finished the round holding an 11-7 edge and never looked back. "That was very important. [The sabres] were somewhat the vulnerable link and they did their job," Roth said. "The foil did its job by pulling them out." For its victory, Penn reclaimed the coveted Beerstein trophy. The trophy, in its 51st year, is kept by the winner of the Penn-Princeton match. The Quakers now find themselves alone atop the Ivy League standings. Only Columbia stands between them and Ivy perfection. Penn faces the Lions at Penn State on February 24. "We can't lie down in our bed of roses yet. We've still got Columbia," Roth said. "We don't want to share this title. We want to leave no doubt."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.