“Everyone went out there and did their job,” Litynski said. “We’re pretty happy with how we did.”
Litynski also commented on the team’s inconsistency, saying it needs to work on its mental focus.
Junior sabre team member Sam Austin agreed with Litynski.
“We’ve had issues throughout the year, like keeping ourselves focused and keeping ourselves confident against more difficult people.”
Although not as important as the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, the U.S. Collegiate Squad Championships let UNC gauge itself against the competition for the upcoming regional championships.
“After this, it’s only individual events from here on out,” Litynski said.
The tournament brought together eight teams, much fewer than the 20 from last year. Miller said more would have competed, but some teams needed an extra weekend of dual-meet matches to help qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
The men’s sabre squad placed second behind Penn, while the women’s sabre squad placed third behind Princeton and defending NCAA champions Ohio State.
“The toughest teams there were probably Princeton and Ohio State, who are ranked top five in the nation,” Litynski said.
Both are ranked in the top five for men and women. UNC is unranked in both.
Miller was reluctant to name any individuals who stood out, preferring to place the emphasis on the men’s and women’s sabre squads as a whole.
But he did compliment Litynski for her crucial play during the tournament.
Though the team didn’t perform to its full potential, Miller said he used this tournament as a chance to step back and gauge the season.
“Even though we’ve had a mediocre dual meet season, the individual part has been great,” Miller said.
“The overall leadership of the team this year and overall work ethic has been the highest in many years that I’ve coached. All in all — good season.”
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