The North Carolina fencing team played doubles matches at the Philadelphia Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The men’s (9-6) and women’s (8-8) teams entered the weekend ranked 12th and 22nd respectively and posted a combined 12-4 record over the weekend.
The night started with a tough game for the men’s team as they took on the No. 7 Princeton Tigers. The Tigers’ 9-0 victory in the foil bouts opened the door to their dominating 20-7 victory on 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 one on the men’s side.
The women’s team started strong in their 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 fight against the No. 18 Temple Owls, the Tar Heels finished day one strong with a 19-8 win over the No. 25 NJIT.
To kick off day two, the women’s team scored impressive victories over Scared Heart and 23rd New York University. The key Tar Heels 7-2 victory in the sword fights proved to be the difference against NYU in what was a 16-11 win for UNC.
Despite dropping two of their last four fights, the women’s team earned a dominating 23-4 win over Lafayette.
The men’s team started their day with another ranked game when the Tar Heels took on No. 15 Sacred Heart. UNC’s 8-1 win in Saber Fights leads to a 17-10 win.
After the first test, North Carolina faced two other ranked teams in back-to-back bouts. Despite struggles in foil bouts, the Tar Heels made the difference in epee matches, leading to victories over No. 11 NYU and No. 20 Pennsylvania.
To end the Invitational, the men’s team won their last 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 come out on top in a number of tough fights.
After dropping their opener against Princeton, the men’s team went undefeated the rest of the weekend and picked up several ranked wins in the process. The winning streak was engineered by key victories in Saber Fights, a group led by senior Beni Rabinowitz.
Likewise, the women’s early day two win over NYU was one of many ranked wins of the weekend. Led by senior Claire Harmon, the sword fights helped lift the Tar Heels above NYU on day two.
When was it decided?
Day 2 unbeaten 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 start the Invitational.
Why is this important?
The successful weekend should help give the Tar Heels some momentum for their fights in February. The ranked wins could also lead to a rise in the domestic rankings of both teams in the coming weeks.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will then compete in the Northwestern Duals. The fights will take place on February 5 and 6.
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