To say junior Kacie Albert is fired up about that opportunity may be an understatement.
“I really think the women’s team has an amazing chance to beat Duke this year,” Albert said. “Beating Duke in their own home gym is even sweeter. It really goes to show that we’re Carolina, you know what we’re about, and we’re here to beat you.”
The fencing squad will walk directly past Cameron Indoor stadium and the infamous Krzyzewskiville as they make their way to the meet.
Albert said her emotions crescendo as she steps inside Card Gym.
“It’s a certain feeling when you walk in the gym,” Albert said. “Your school pride really is overwhelming, and there’s just all this Duke stuff everywhere, and you just want to beat Duke.”
A single dual match consists of 27 fights, nine for each weapon squad — foil, epee, and sabre. For the Tar Heels to take at least 14 for the victory, they’ll need to harness their emotion into consistent performances in all three disciplines, Miller said.
“All year long, we’ve had every weapon squad have a great day,” Miller said. “But it’s been rare that through a whole day, every weapon squad has had a consistent performance.”
Junior Sam Austin said he knows his team will need some intense willpower to outlast the Blue Devils.
“It’s going to be all about focus, because we definitely have the team to beat them,” Austin said. “I feel our team is much stronger than them, so we just have to stay focused the entire time we’re there.”
Miller believes this year’s team is primed and ready to take down its hated rivals and re-take its position as the leader in the storied rivalry.
“They rarely, in recent history, respect us the way they do some of the other teams,” Miller said. “But anytime you have any sport competing Carolina-Duke, its always a toss up, and this year in particular, we’re ready.”
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