Sports | Fencing

Fencing cruises in season opener

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Updated Nov. 8, 12:08 a.m.

Columbia fencing opened up their season in scintillating fashion, as the team went 10-1 at the Penn Elite tournament on Saturday. 

Columbia started the day strong with both men’s and women’s teams earning victories over Ohio State—a match-up that saw the Top-2 finishers at this year’s NCAA Championships go head-to-head in the first big meet of the season. The men earned a 15-12 victory, with 3-0 sweeps from foilist Sam Moelis and saberist Andrew Doddo—both first-years— pushing Columbia over the edge.

Similarly, the women’s squad also earned a 15-12 win over Ohio State. While the épée team had a dominating 8-1 result, the foil squad fell 7-2. This result marked a stark contrast from performances in the past, where foil has been known to be one of Columbia’s most reliable fencing groups. While women’s foil has been known to be one of Columbia’s most reliable fencing categories, head coach Michael Aufrichtig had previously noted that the team would compete without several of their top foilists. 

“There is a world cup in France that three or four of our foil fencers will be participating in,” Aufrichtig said. “So this year, we will have two of our épée fencers fence foil.”

After decisive victories against North Carolina, the afternoon saw a string of tougher matches for the Lions. 

The men’s team battled their way to a 14-13 victory against NJIT, and the women achieved an identical scoreline, topping Temple. 

But, in Columbia’s only loss of the day, the women’s squad fell to conference foes Princeton 16-11, with women’s épée failing to win a single bout against their Ancient Eight rivals. The men’s squad faced its second consecutive challenge in Princeton, but were able to overcome a 6-3 loss in épée en route to their second 14-13 victory of the day. 

The final matches of the meet also saw the women’s squad sweep Cornell 20-7, with the men’s squad topped Johns Hopkins with another identical scoreline. 

“Every match they go into, they go in to win,” Aufrichtig said. “The team really counts on each other.” 

The Light Blue will next take to the strip at the Columbia Invitational on November 18th, where they will look to continue their winning form in home territory.

chituga.weli@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Sam Moelis competed in épée. He instead competed in foil. Spectator regrets the error.

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