The North Carolina fencing team finished 9-1 overall on Saturday at the Philadelphia Invitational, with the men's team going 4-1 and the women finishing a perfect 5-0. This competition is the second of the new year and was a major improvement for the Tar Heels after finishing 3-7 at the Penn State Dual Meets.
The UNC fencing teams began the day facing Sacred Heart, and both the men and women finished on top with scores of 19-8 and 22-5, respectively. The women's team went on to face Fairleigh Dickinson in its closest match of the day, a 17-10 win for the Tar Heels.
The women finished the day with dominate victories over the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Lafayette and Wagner, 20-7, 20-7 and 21-6, respectively. The women's foil fencers led the way, finishing their last two matches with perfect 9-0 scores in that event.
The men also had a successful outing, with their only loss coming in the fourth round against the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Tar Heels were narrowly defeated, 12-15, in UNC's only loss of the competition.
The men's team was successful the rest of the day, defeating NYU in a close match that ended 14-13 and dominating Lafayette, 24-3. The foil and epee fencers led the way in that match, both going a perfect 9-0 against Lafayette. The men's team defeated John Hopkins, 19-8, to end the day.
"It's not always about the results because there's this process that we're going through," head coach Matt Jednak said. "But to see them validating for themselves what they've put into it, it was great, it was really amazing."
Who stood out?
The men's team was led by standout performances from junior epeeist Joe Taylor and junior Firoz George, who competed in sabre. Taylor and Firoz finished the day 8-1 and 9-3, respectively.