Women's epee, men's sabre have strong weekend

The UNC fencing teams had meets in Philadelphia, NYC

The men’s and women’s fencing teams traveled to Philadelphia and New York City this weekend where their teams’ strengths became very apparent.

The men’s team competed in both the Philadelphia Invitational and the NYU Invitational. The women only competed in Philadelphia.

The men’s team rebounded off an early Saturday morning loss to Johns Hopkins and finished the day with three wins and two losses. The Tar Heels’ other loss was at the hands of Sacred Heart in a 15-12 match.

The women’s team found wins early on in the meet, crushing Farleigh Dickinson 19-8 in its first match. North Carolina went 4-2 on the day, losing to only Cornell and Sacred Heart.

Despite the two overall losses, the women’s epee fencers dominated their competition. The Tar Heels outperformed every school in the event, dropping only nine bouts.

Sophomore Lidea Shahidi said North Carolina’s dominance manifested from the team’s chemistry and comfort.

“We had worked together as a squad for all last year and this year so we’re just really used to each other,” Shahidi said. “We’re used to working with each other. We know how each one of us operates and what we need to do for each other.”

While the women excelled at epee, the men took charge in sabre. In Philadelphia, UNC beat all five of its opponents in sabre. Sunday, the Tar Heels faced six more teams at NYU and won four out of their six sabre match-ups.

UNC’s success in sabre, however, did not reflect on the men’s team’s overall performance. UNC fell to four of the six teams at the meet Sunday, and both of their wins came late in the meet — against Wayne State and the host NYU.

Three of the teams the Tar Heels faced at NYU, though, were ranked in the top 10 of the nation, including No. 1 Ohio State.

Junior Sam Austin said the team was simply outperformed by the steep competition.

“We definitely fenced just as hard and just as well, but we were against much harder competition,” Austin said.

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