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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina fencing has best showing in saber event at Garret Penn State Open

Women's fencing ACC Championships

The North Carolina women's fencing team celebrates its 2018 ACC team title, the first in school history, on Feb. 24 in Carmichael Arena.

The UNC fencing teams took a step back in the Garret Penn State Open after an impressive start to the season while facing some of the toughest competition in the country.

What happened?

The women's team kicked off the event with an 8:30 a.m. start on Saturday in the foil and epee events. Sydney Persing had the best showing for the Tar Heels in the foil event, finishing in 26th place. No other UNC fencer finished in the top 40 spots for the event.

In the epee event, Charlotte Summers, a first-year, had the top spot with a 41st-place showing.

The squad did fare much better in the saber tournament later that day when first-year Julia Parzecki had s strong series of bouts and placed 11th in the event. Jackie Litynski joined Parzecki as the only other Tar Heel to finish in the top-25 when she snuck in at 24th.

The men’s team had similar trouble as their female counterparts against some of the toughest squads in the country a day later.

Junior Brian Lee was the best Tar Heel with the foil and the only one in the top-25 at No. 22 on the leaderboard. Sophomore Charles Chow followed close behind with a 30th-place finish.

The team followed the foil e vent with an up and down showing in the epee that saw first-year Jared Cohen top the leaderboard for UNC at No. 40. 

To end the tournament, the men’s team had its best appearance of the weekend in the saber event. First-years Daniel Mogilevsky and Beni Rabinowitz placed a respectable 18th and 19th, respectively, while three other Tar Heels finished in the top-25 of 58 total competitors.

Who stood out?

Parzecki was the best Tar Heel on the strip this weekend and showed her aptitude for the saber by being the women’s only top-20 finisher. The saber is where the women’s squad had its best showing as Litynski also fared well, finishing higher than 35 other fencers in the event.

Rabinowitz followed a sixth-place finish in last weekend’s saber by once again being a top performer with the weapon. His 19th-place finish put him above 39 other fencers for the event.

When was it decided?

Both team’s performances in the foil and epee didn’t do them any favors but each was able to redeem themselves with the saber. Retooling the first two weapons could go a long way in bettering team performance for the season.

Why does it matter?

It is still early in the season and growing pains are expected for the young squads. The Tar Heels will only improve with more bouts under their belts.

This maturation will be key if the women’s team is to repeat as ACC Champions and if the men’s team wants to achieve a similar fate.

When do they play next?

UNC will look to build on this showing when it heads to Columbus, Ohio for the Elite Invitational Duals. The event kicks off on Saturday when the women’s team takes the strip.

@KenjonVarner

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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