After struggling in their first event of the regular season, the Blue Devils continued to turn things around at the Eric Sollee Invitational Sunday in Cambridge, Mass.
The Duke men improved on their 4-1 record two weeks ago at the Philadelphia Invitational and posted a perfect 6-0 record this time around. The Blue Devil women also finished undefeated for the first time this season. The men were dominant in victories against Boston College, Brandeis, MIT, NYU, Stevens and Brown, and the women topped the same six schools.
“We are all very proud of them,” Duke head coach Alex Beguinet told GoDuke.com. “For the first time ever, the men and women’s teams were both undefeated fencing the same schools in their lineups.”
Once again, it was the freshmen who led the way for the Blue Devils. Eoin Gronningsater continued his strong start to the season with a perfect 12-0 performance in the foil competition. Fellow rookie Jonathan Schwartzman posted a 12-2 ledger, sophomore Will Feldman went 12-5 and junior Jan Maceczek finished 7-4 as the foil team went a perfect 6-0 on the day.
The men’s saber squad went 5-1 in Cambridge thanks to strong performances from freshmen Duncan De Caire (12-4) and Agoston Walter (11-5). A 10-2 outing by junior Peter Yang and a 9-1 performance from junior Pascual Di Tella also contributed to the team’s success.
Lastly, the epeeists found some success as well Sunday. They cruised to a 4-2 record on the backs of winning performances from junior Dakota Nollner (11-7) and sophomore Bryn Hammarberg (9-4), but rookies Connor Ghazaleh (7-8) and Aidan McGinnis (4-5) failed to surpass .500 on the day.
“They are all very happy with how they fenced today, and they feel confident,” Beguinet said. “This result should make the Duke meet next weekend even more enjoyable.”
Like the men, Duke's women had a breakout performance of their own Sunday, with the saberists posting a dominant showing Cambridge. Juniors Haley Fisher and Jennifer Ling combined for a near-perfect 33-3 record on the day, and freshman Lindsay Sapienza continued her consistent excellence with a 14-4 ledger as the saberists finished 6-0 in competition.
The women’s saberists weren’t the only undefeated squad during the contest, which was hosted by the Engineers. The foil squad also posted a perfect 6-0 ledger. Sophomores Rhiannon Harvey (14-3), Kristen Coury (12-3) and Cathy Chi (7-4) all had their season’s best outings in Cambridge. Freshman Zuzu Tang also had a day to remember, ending with a perfect 11-0 record in competition.
The women’s epee squad rounded out the competition with a much improved outing from last week. Sophomores Camille Esnault (13-5), Vivian Wang (10-8) and Phoebe Caplin (6-6) all posted ledgers of .500 or better, and freshman Kendyl Bree ended the day with an even 3-3 record as the epeeists finished with a 4-2 record Sunday.
Up next, the Blue Devils will look to defend their home strips and prove this success is not a fluke when they host the Duke meet in Card Gymnasium in Durham Feb. 11-12.
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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.