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Saber squad stars for Duke fencing as men bounce back at Philadelphia Invitational

<p>Several Blue Devils bounced back from tough outings at the Penn State Duals at the Philadelphia Invitational this weekend.&nbsp;</p>

Several Blue Devils bounced back from tough outings at the Penn State Duals at the Philadelphia Invitational this weekend. 

Following a rough start to the regular season at Penn State last weekend, the Blue Devils traveled to the Philadelphia Invitational looking for a bounce-back performance.

The Duke men rebounded from a 1-4 ledger with a 4-1 record this time around, but the Blue Devil women struggled once again to a 2-3 finish Saturday. The men cruised to victories against Sacred Heart, Lafayette, Johns Hopkins and NJIT and came up short against host school Pennsylvania. On the women’s side, Duke dominated NJIT and Johns Hopkins before coming up short against Cornell, Temple and Pennsylvania.

“Both teams did a great job this weekend,” Blue Devil head coach Alex Beguinet told “Their fencing was much better than last weekend.”

Much of the men’s team’s success can be credited to dominance by the Duke saber squad. Freshmen Duncan De Caire and Agoston Walker posted 11-1 and 8-2 records, respectively, and juniors Peter Yang (10-2) and Pascual Di Tella (9-2) helped the saber fencers compile a perfect 5-0 record on the day.

Last week’s ACC Male Fencer of the Week, Eoin Gronningsater, excelled once again with his 10-1 ledger on the strips in foil competition. Behind him, junior Jan Maceczek, sophomore Will Feldman and freshman Jonathan Schwartzman filled out the rest of the foilers as the trio compiled nine, eight and seven wins respectively in the foilists' 3-2 performance on the day. 

The epeeists also finished with a 3-2 record after a pair of eight-win outings from sophomore Bryn Hammarberg and freshman Aidan McGinnis got the men’s epee squad back on track after last weekend.

“They fought very hard, had a better team cohesion and their spirits were high,” Beguinet said. “Overall, a great improvement from last weekend.”

Although the men turned their 1-4 ledger at the Penn State Duals around, the Blue Devils women were unable to find that similar success.

Junior Haley Fisher led Duke with a women’s team-best 9-4 outing in the saber competition. Fisher was followed by ACC co-Female Fencer of the Week Lindsay Sapienza (8-5), who could not reach double-digit wins for a second consecutive week. Junior Jennifer Ling also ended the day with an 8-5 record for the Blue Devils. 

The foilists were led by freshman Zuzu Tang (8-7) for the second straight week. Kristen Coury and Julia Lee both ended the day with 7-4 records for the Blue Devils foilists, who compiled a 3-2 record on the day.

Lastly, much of Duke’s struggles Saturday came in the women’s epee group. Sophomore Claudia Wrampelmeier (7-4) was the lone epeeist with a winning record in Philadelphia. Fellow sophomore Vivian Wang and senior Rita Somogyi struggled through five-win outings and junior Sophie Caplin (1-9) was off her game as well in the epee group’s 2-3 performance and team’s second two-win effort to start the season.

The women will look to get back on track and the men will try and continue their recent success Feb. 5. in Cambridge, Mass., where Duke will compete in the Eric Sollee Invitational.

Michael Model

Digital Strategy Director for Vol. 115, Michael was previously Sports Editor for Vol. 114 and Assistant Blue Zone Editor for Vol. 113.  Michael is a senior majoring in Statistical Science and is interested in data analytics and using data to make insights.


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