The men’s team competed Sunday and shined in the epee tournament — where senior Michael Gopman Slonim earned bronze and first-year Jacob Henkels advanced far into the bracket. The two met in the round of eight, where the Gopman Slonim defeated his teammate in a tight 15-13 victory. Gopman Slonim fell 15-6 in the semifinals to the eventual champion, Penn State's Anton Piskovatskov.
The men struggled in the foil tournament, with no Tar Heel advancing past the round of 32. Sophomore Connor Ritchey entered the saber tournament as the top seed and fought his way to the round of 16 before losing to Penn State’s Matthew Lewicki 15-7.
Who stood out?
Meredith Bozentka was the team’s top performer, with her gold medal finish. She entered the tournament tied for the sixth seed and fought through her share of tough opponents, winning two bouts by a single point.
Her championship win against Temple’s Blessing Olaode was also a revenge of sorts. Olaode beat North Carolina’s top-seeded Philpot in the round of 16.
When was it decided?
The women’s team set the bar high, with two top-three finishes. The men’s team responded with Gopman Slonim's bronze finish in the epee tournament. First-year Jacob Henkels also stepped up for the men’s team in his national collegiate debut, making his way to the round of eight in the epee tournament.
These two fencers solidified what was an impressive overall finish from the team, with success in all three disciplines.
Why does it matter?
In a highly competitive tournament, UNC showed skill and composure. Almost every competing Tar Heel — 25 out of 26 — advanced to tournament play in his or her respective events.
North Carolina will look for more consistent play from its top seeds in future competitions, though. Two Tar Heels — Philpot and Ritchey — entered their respective tournaments as No. 1 seeds, but neither advanced farther than the round of 16.
When do they play next?
UNC will travel to Wisconsin, where it will compete in the all-day Milwaukee NAC on Nov. 11.