The North Carolina fencing team traveled to face Penn State and other squads early Sunday morning in the Nittany Lions’ only home dual meet of the regular season.
It was a jam packed day as Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania and Haverford College were also in attendance to show off their fencing talents in addition to UNC and Penn State. Temple was in attendance as well but only fought on the women’s side.
The Nittany Lions, at the comforts of their own home, had a dominant day, winning 12 of the 13 matchups. Penn State looked untouchable and it remained that way when both of UNC’s teams took on the No. 6 ranked men’s and No. 4 ranked women’s team from a season ago. The North Carolina men’s team lost, 17-10, and the women lost, 21-6.
Aside from competing against the Nittany Lions, the UNC men defeated Yale, 17-10, and Haverford, 20-7, but lost to Columbia, 17-10, and Penn, 20-7. All three of the Tar Heels' losses were against teams that ranked No. 6 or higher at the conclusion of last year’s season.
On the women’s side, the Tar Heels defeated Columbia, 14-13, and Haverford, 20-7. The losses were to Yale, 15-12, Penn, 16-11, and Temple, 17-10. Defeating Columbia was quite the impressive feat considering the team finished last year’s season No. 2 in the nation.
Overall, it was not the best outing for UNC as the team won just four out of the 11 matches. It was a far different outcome compared to an 11-1 record in the team’s last matchup in December at Brandeis.
Despite the disappointing result on Sunday, UNC head coach Ron Miller, who is in his 51st season, will be sure to get things right and get the Tar Heels to play at their peak for later in the season. "The 5-4 bouts killed us", Miller said. "We had 66 bouts that went to 5-4 and we lost 46 of those. In four cases that was the difference in the meet. Obviously we've got to work harder there."
UNC will be back at the Philadelphia Invitational next weekend against the University of Pennsylvania.
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