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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina fencing teams open spring season at Penn State duals


Aubrey Molloy competes at the ACC fencing championship at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill on Feb. 27, 2021.
Photo Courtesy of UNC Athletics/Jeffrey A. Camarati.

The North Carolina fencing teams traveled to University City in Pennsylvania this past weekend to kick off their spring season, taking on Penn State, Haverford, UPenn, and Columbia. 

What happened?

Coming into the duals as the No. 14 men’s team and No. 25 women’s team, the Tar Heels fought many tough duels against several top-ranked teams, but eventually tallied a loss with a 2-6 record for both the men’s and women’s teams.

Who stood out? 

Senior foil Aubrey Molloy proved to be a standout in her duels this weekend. Molloy went 7-2 in her matches, the best performer for the Tar Heels all weekend. She went a perfect 2-0 against No. 11 Penn State and 3-0 versus Haverford. 

The Tar Heels collectively swept Haverford with a perfect 18-0 record across both men and women’s teams.

Sophomore epee Xavier Hilbert provided the spark for the men’s team in his duels this past weekend. Hilbert finished his duels with an even 6-6 record, and he was able to clinch a win versus Penn State with a 2-1 score.

When was it decided?

In Round 1, North Carolina took on UPenn. The men only came out on top in the foil division with a score of 6-3. The women were victorious over Penn in the sabre division with a record of 7-2.

Both teams had a bye for the second round.

Round 3 put UNC against Haverford, and the Tar Heels dominated this round in both men’s and women’s arenas. Both teams swept Haverford cleanly, coming out of this round with a perfect 18-0 score.

North Carolina faced Penn State, their second-highest ranked opponent of the weekend, in Round 4. Both the men's and women’s teams were swept by the Nittany Lions to put the Tar Heels at a disadvantage heading into their final matchup.

UNC faced its toughest opponent in Round 5 as the team took on Columbia. The Tar Heels were dominated by Columbia this round, losing both the men’s and women’s division by a clean sweep.

Why does it matter?

This loss puts the Tar Heels at an even 1-1 record for the beginning of their spring season. Going up against two top-five teams in Columbia and Penn State, North Carolina proved that they have work to do heading into their next set of duels.

When do they play next?

North Carolina is set to take on the University of Pennsylvania this weekend in a two-day matchup on Jan. 21 and 22.

@DTHSports |

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