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Duke fencing bested by Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Invitational

<p>The Blue Devils men and women beat almost everybody they faced.</p>

The Blue Devils men and women beat almost everybody they faced.

For the second straight weekend, Duke traveled to Pennsylvania Saturday, this time to compete in the Philadelphia Invitational. The men finished 4-1, and the women ended the day with a 3-2 record. 

The ninth-ranked Blue Devil men won four of their five competitions, easily defeating Haverford 22-5 and Sacred Heart 23-4 before close wins against NJIT 15-12 and NYU 16-11. Duke’s only loss was a tightly contested match with No. 7 Pennsylvania, a 14-13 battle.

The Duke women started strong, emerging victorious in their first three bouts against NJIT 18-9, Johns Hopkins 23-4 and Cornell 18-9. But the Blue Devils ended the day by coming up just short against Temple 16-11 and losing to ninth-ranked Pennsylvania 18-9. 

After beating an impressive Pennsylvania unit just the weekend before, the Quakers got their revenge on both the men's and the women's side. 

The Duke men fared well in both the saber and the foil but struggled with the epee. The saberists finished with a 4-1 record, as no fencer had a losing record. They were led by sophomore Duncan De Caire, who finished 9-4. Duke also had a 4-1 record in the foil, where sophomore Eoin Gronningsater had an almost perfect day, ending with 10 wins and only one loss.

The epee squad struggled for the second weekend in a row, going only 2-3 across the competition. Junior Bryn Hammarberg led the effort with nine wins, followed by senior Dean Ischiropolous, who finished with eight. 

The women’s team had an impressive all-around showing, finishing 4-1 in foil and epee and 3-2 in the saber. Freshman Julia Gianneschi continued her strong play, leading the foilists with 10 wins. In the epee, junior Claudia Wrampelmeier led the team with 11 wins, and fellow junior Camille Esnault finished with nine of her own.

After almost being swept the weekend before, it was a bounce-back effort for the women’s saber. But there is still room for improvement, as Haley Fisher (8-5) was the only saberist to finish with a positive record. 

The Blue Devils will have two weeks to rest before they travel to Notre Dame and compete in the Northwestern Duals Feb. 3-4.


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