The North Carolina fencing team had a solid weekend in Durham, with both men’s and women’s teams going 4-1. Each team’s lone loss came to host and rival Duke.
The men’s team competed Saturday and started off the day with wins against Johns Hopkins and MIT. In the 19-8 win against Johns Hopkins, men’s sabre dominated 8-1. UNC bested MIT 16-11 and swept all three weapons, barely scraping by 5-4 in epee and sabre.
Against No. 9 Duke, UNC’s men struggled to find a rhythm and fell 19-8. But the team was able to rebound with back-to-back 19-8 wins over Boston College and Air Force. The men defeated the Golden Eagles and the Falcons in all three weapons.
On the women’s side, the Tar Heels started Sunday on a high note, taking down No. 8 Northwestern 15-12. The match was tight, with UNC squeaking out 5-4 victories in each weapon. After dispatching MIT 18-9, UNC took on the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils.
The Tar Heels fell 7-2 in epee, which proved to be the difference as they lost a thriller, 14-13. UNC’s women were able to finish the day with a 14-13 win against Boston College and a 17-10 victory over Air Force.
Who stood out?
Sophomore Matthew Garrelick turned in a superb performance for men’s sabre. Garrelick went 12-3 and had perfect 3-0 records against MIT, Boston College and Air Force. Fellow sophomore Richard Cho led the way for men’s foil with an 11-4 mark.
First-year Jackie Litynski had a productive meet, going 8-1 for women’s sabre. In her lone loss, Litynski dislocated her shoulder but finished the bout. The injury kept her out of the rest of the meet but was not serious, head coach Ron Miller said.
For women’s foil, first-year Carlexa Fevry performed valiantly, notching 11 wins and a mere three losses. With the help of Fevry, women’s foil went undefeated on Sunday and earned the foil trophy for the Duke meet. Miller said he was impressed with the strength and balance of the foil team on Sunday.
Why does it matter?
The Duke duals gave UNC a chance to test itself against formidable competition as the postseason looms. With the ACC and NCAA Championships approaching, the Tar Heels were able to sharpen their skills also while sizing up their ACC foes. The women faced two ranked clubs and proved they were up to bar with both.
UNC got a preview of the ACC Championships as they faced Duke and Boston College. The Tar Heels showed they have a slight edge against the Golden Eagles but need to improve if they hope to compete with the Blue Devils.
Where do they play next?
The Tar Heels will compete in the Junior Olympic Championships in Kansas City, which will begin Friday and last until Sunday.
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