Following a bounce-back performance last weekend in Cambridge, Mass., the Blue Devils ended their regular season with a “perfect” performance at home during the Duke Meet this weekend.
The Blue Devil men and women thrived on their home strips and both teams finished competition with undefeated 5-0 records for the second straight weekend. The men were dominant against MIT, Boston College, North Carolina, Air Force and Johns Hopkins Saturday, and the women took down the same five opponents Sunday at Card Gym.
“The first match was really bad, nothing was working. We came back and I asked if it was going to be like this the whole rest of the season,” Duke head coach Alex Beguinet said. “But, we did well in the second one and very well in the third and fourth one, so it’s been a good progression."
For the fourth consecutive week, freshmen set the pace for the Blue Devil men. Rookie Jonathan Schwartzman led the way with a perfect 11-0 record in foil competition. Sophomore Will Feldman (8-3) and junior Jan Maceczek (7-2) also found success at home, as freshman Eoin Gronningsater (5-1) and seniors Joseph Lam (3-0) and Ethan Yu (3-2) all had solid afternoons for a foil squad that went 5-0 on the day.
The men’s saber squad also posted a perfect ledger due in part to strong outings by freshmen once again. Rookies Duncan De Caire and Agoston Walter both found success with 10-5 and 8-2 records. Junior Peter Yang went 9-3 on the day and fellow junior Pascual Di Tella went undefeated in eight matches of saber competition.
The epee squad went a solid 4-1 Saturday. Sophomore Bryn Hammarberg cruised to a 10-4 record and junior Dakota Nollner had a winning 8-7 outing for the epeeists. Freshmen Connor Ghazaleh, Aidan McGinnis and Alec Ajnsztajn rounded out competition with records of 4-1, 4-5, and 0-2 respectively.
“It was really a fantastic weekend,” Beguinet told GoDuke.com. “I think we’ve figured out what works best and we will continue to prepare for the ACC championships in two weeks.”
Like the men, the Duke women also finished undefeated for the second consecutive week. Senior Rita Somogyi set the bar for the epeeists with a 10-3 outing. She was followed by sophomores Camille Esnault (9-1) and Claudia Wrampelmeier (9-4), who both had some of their best performances this season. Fellow sophomore Vivian Wang (4-3) and junior Sophie Caplin (1-0) rounded out the women's epee squad, which finished 5-0 in competition.
The women saberists also ended the day victorious. Their 4-1 record was best among the saber squads in the meet and was in large part due to strong 11-win performances by juniors Jennifer Ling (11-4) and Haley Fisher (11-4) and freshman Lindsay Sapienza (11-4), whose season-long success continued Sunday.
Lastly, senior Julia Lee (8-1) also found success at home for the foilists. Freshman Zuzu Tang continued her recent hot streak with an 8-4 ledger, and sophomores Rhiannon Harvey (4-1) and Kristen Coury (4-7) posted four-win performances. Fellow sophomore Cathy Chi (2-5) and senior Emmeline Yoo (1-0) rounded out the foil squad, which finished 3-2 and was the only Duke men’s or women’s squad to not win a trophy in competition.
Next up for the Blue Devils are the individual USFA Junior Olympics Championships Feb. 17-20 in Kansas City. The weekend after that, Duke will host the ACC championship at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“We are doing well, let’s keep it this way,” Beguinet said. “There’s nothing to change until anything happens. There aren’t that many tournaments left, so right now we’re not changing anything. Let’s go win, go, go, go.”
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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.