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Saturday May 28th

UNC fencing opens 2020 with mixed results at Penn State Invitational

UNC's Sydney Persing fences with Boston College's Vivian Li during the women's fencing match in Card gym at Duke University on Sunday, Feb. 10 2018.
Buy Photos UNC's Sydney Persing fences with Boston College's Vivian Li during the women's fencing match in Card gym at Duke University on Sunday, Feb. 10 2018.

The North Carolina men's and women's fencing teams opened the first meet of 2020 at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday, with the men's team falling by an overall score of 1-4, and the women's team narrowly falling 2-3. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels began the day against the University of Pennsylvania, where the men, despite winning both the foil and epee, were edged, 14-13, by the Quakers. When the two teams met during the Elite Invitational in November, UNC also fell by the narrow score of 14-13. 

The women's team was defeated in the foil, epee and sabre, handing the Quakers an 18-9 win. 

Next on the docket was Yale, with the men falling 17-10 to the Bulldogs and the women falling by a score of 19-8.

Against Columbia, the men won the sabre, 5-4, but lost the foil and the epee to finish with an 18-9 defeat. The women found their first victory of the day against Columbia with a 16-11 win, taking the sabre and the epee by scores of 7-2 and 5-4, respectively. 

Both teams picked up a win against the fourth opponent of the day, Haverford. The men won, 16-11, after winning both the sabre and the foil by scores of 6-3. The women earned an 18-9 win after taking both the sabre and the foil, securing a dominant 9-0 victory in the sabre. 

For North Carolina's last matchup of the event, both teams faced the host school, Penn State. The men lost to the Nittany Lions, 20-7, after dropping both the sabre and the epee by scores of 8-1, but the Tar Heels picked up a 5-4 win in the foil. The women fell, 19-8, to Penn State, dropping the sabre, foil and epee. 

When was it decided? 

The women's team found its first win of the day in the third matchup, setting the team up with a 2-1 deficit heading into the final two matches. The women were able to earn a 2-2 overall score after beating their fourth opponent, Haverford, but the Tar Heels were unable to come up with a third win against their final opponent, Penn State. 

The men's team didn't find its first win until the fourth matchup, which was too late to mount a significant comeback. 

Who stood out?

Three Tar Heels finished the day with individual winning records. On the women's side, sophomore Aubrey Molloy was the hero, finishing 8-3 on the day. She earned 2-1 advantages against Yale and Penn State and picked up a 1-1 record against Columbia. 

Charlotte Summers, another sophomore on the women's team, finished 7-4 overall. She also picked up 2-1 advantages over Yale and Penn State. 

For the men's team, James Mulligan, the recipient of the team's Newcomer Award in 2018-19, went 5-4 in the invitational. 

Why does it matter?

North Carolina put in strong performances against some solid teams, ramping up for the postseason that is now only three meets away.

When do they play next?

UNC heads to Philadelphia on Saturday for the Philadelphia Invitational Duels, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. 

@emilythoreson

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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