In just their second collegiate tournament of the 2015-16 season, the North Carolina men's and women's fencing teams had five top-15 finishers in this weekend's Garret Penn State Open.
The top finisher for UNC was first-year Jason Xu, who tied for third in men’s epee on Sunday by advancing to the semifinals of bracket play as the No. 2 seed.
Xu’s performance marked his second top-10 finish of the season. He finished eighth at the Temple Open on Nov. 1.
Also finishing in the top-15 for the men was first-year Connor Ritchey, who finished 14th in men’s sabre.
For the women’s team, junior Gabrielle D’Astoli earned a 13th-place finish and a spot in bracket play in foil, while sophomore Diana Philpot and junior Sarah Hanvy finished 13th and 15th, respectively, in sabre.
“This tournament, I was able to control myself when I was down and be able beat disappointment and win my bouts.” — Xu on how he improved from his eighth-place finish at the Temple Open to a third-place finish at the Garret Penn State Open.
UNC was the southern-most squad that competed in the Garret Penn State Open, which also featured Ohio State, Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Temple, Brown, Yale and Penn State.
Three numbers that matter
13: The place D’Astoli and Philpot earned in their respective weapons classes.
3: The point differential in Xu’s 15-12 semifinal loss to Simon Jones of Brown.
5: Number of places Xu improved between tournaments, from eighth to third.
Both teams will travel to Kansas City on Friday for the Kansas City North American Cup, which will last through Sunday.
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