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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC fencing posts 12-4 record at Philadelphia Invitational

Aubrey Molloy competes in the ACC Fencing Championship in Carmichael Arena on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications/Jeffrey A. Camarati.

The North Carolina fencing team competed in dual matches at the Philadelphia Invitational Friday and Saturday.

The men’s (9-6) and women's (8-8) teams came into the weekend ranked No. 12 and 22 respectively, and posted a combined 12-4 record over the weekend.

What happened?

The night started off with a tough match for the men’s team as they faced off against the No. 7 Princeton Tigers. The Tigers' 9-0 victory in the Foil bouts opened the door for their dominant 20-7 victory over the Tar Heels.

Despite the early loss, the men’s team bounced back with wins over No. 21 Johns Hopkins and No. 25 New Jersey Institute of Technology to end Day 1 on the men's side.

The women’s team started off strong in its opening bout against Johns Hopkins. North Carolina proved to be too much for the Blue Jays, winning in dominant fashion, 20-7. 

Despite dropping their next bout against the No. 18 Temple Owls, the Tar Heels finished off Day 1 strong with a 19-8 over No. 25 NJIT. 

To kick off Day 2, the women’s team posted impressive wins over Scared Heart and No. 23 New York University. The Tar Heels’ key 7-2 victory in the Epee bouts proved to be the difference against NYU in what was a 16-11 victory for UNC.

Despite dropping two of its final four bouts, the women’s team earned a dominant 23-4 victory over Lafayette. 

The men’s team started off their day with another ranked matchup when the Tar Heels faced off against No. 15 Sacred Heart. UNC’s 8-1 victory in the Sabre bouts lead to a 17-10 win.

Following the early test, North Carolina faced off against two more ranked teams in back-to-back bouts. Despite struggles in the Foil bouts, the Tar Heels made the difference up in the Epee matches, leading to victories over No. 11 NYU and No. 20 Pennsylvania.

To finish up the Invitational, the men’s team won their final three bouts, improving the overall record to 12-4 for the weekend. 

Who stood out? 

The resilience displayed by the Tar Heels throughout the weekend helped the team prevail in a number of difficult bouts.

After dropping its first match to Princeton, the men’s team went undefeated the rest of the weekend and picked up multiple ranked wins in the process. The winning streak was engineered by key victories in the Sabre bouts, a group lead by senior Beni Rabinowitz.

Likewise, the women’s early Day 2 victory over NYU was one of many ranked victories for the weekend. Led by senior Claire Harmon, the Epee bouts helped lift the Tar Heels over NYU in Day 2.

When was it decided?

The undefeated Day 2 for the men’s team proved to be the deciding factor for the Tar Heels. With multiple ranked wins, Day 2 served North Carolina well after a slow start to begin the Invitational. 

Why does it matter?

The successful weekend should help give the Tar Heels some momentum for their bouts in February. The ranked victories could also result in a rise in the national rankings for both teams in the coming weeks. 

When do they play next?

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The Tar Heels compete next at the Northwestern Duals. The bouts will take place on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.