North Carolina posted a solid performance against tough competition in the ACC Fencing Championships this weekend.
The men’s and women’s teams shook off early adversity to each finish 1-2 on the weekend.
The men took the strip first and produced the Tar Heels’ most impressive performance of the event.
Sophomore epee Matthew Shlimak finished 11-4 after the seeding round, winning his first four bouts and earning the No. 1 seed in the final. Shlimak lost to Notre Dame’s Dylan French — who ended up taking home the ACC crown — but quickly responded to beat Boston College’s Peter Wetzel 15-10 to claim the bronze medal.
But the women's team couldn't match the individual success of the Tar Heel men later that night.
North Carolina dropped its first two matchups against Duke and Notre Dame. But the Tar Heels recovered against Boston College to salvage its only win on the night.
Sunday was similarly tough for the women, as no Tar Heel reached the final four in either of the three weapons.
Like the women's team, the men fell to Duke and Notre Dame in its first two contests.
But in parallel fashion, North Carolina was able to finish strong — notching a convincing 18-9 victory over Boston College.
“I think we’re ready. We should be healthy by then. I think everyone now has a better feel for what they have to do to. And even though we have five or six very strong freshman, they will be facing in their first regionals. This weekend was great preparation for them.” — Coach Ron Miller on the team's outlook for upcoming NCAA competition.
Although the Tar Heels had a good showing, they were not running at 100 percent. First-year sabre Matthew Garrelick had missed an entire week of practice, while first-year epee Jason Xu dealt with injuries during Saturday’s competitions and was forced to sit out Sunday.
Three numbers that matter
4: UNC's women's team earned four top-10 individual finishes on Sunday.
2: Of the 12 Tar Heel men, only two finished in the top five.
8: Sophomore sabre Meredith Bozentka scored eight consecutive bout victories in the individual seeding round, but she fell short of the final four.
North Carolina will be participating in the NCAA Regional Championships on March 12.
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