POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - This past Sunday, the Haverford College men's fencing team traveled to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to participate in the Vassar Invitational. The invitational included eight rounds of fencing action during the all-day event. The Fords racked up five victories over those eight rounds of bouts.
The opening round found Haverford faced off against the Pioneers of Sacred Heart, a Division I University from Connecticut. Despite the team defeat, freshmen sabrists Gabriel Braun and David Parker held the line in the sabre event to claim a 5-4 win in that weapon. Epee went to the Pioneers by that same 5-4 margin, while Sacred Heart controlled the foil bouts with eight victories. Devin Louis claimed a point for the Fords in the foil bouts.
Bouncing back in the second round, Haverford avenged last season's loss against MACFA rival Lafayette, defeating the Leopards 15-12. Although Lafayette squeaked by in the foil and sabre, 5-4 each, Haverford epee secured the win with a 7-2 victory. The Fords continued to win against MACFA teams in the third and fourth rounds, with routs of Hunter and Army by 19-8 and 18-9 scores, respectively. All three weapons posted victories in the defeats of Hunter and Army.
Similar to Lafayette, the University of Florida Gators proved a tough opponent. The Gators claimed victories against the Fords in the sabre and foil. Once again, the deep epee squad from Haverford secured the overall win. The weapon won by a 7-2 score, edging out the Gators 14-13 in the overall tally.
After the thrilling victory, Haverford could not replicate those winning results against host Vassar with a 16-11 final. The foil squad emerged victorious by a tight 5-4 advantage with the help of some stellar results from sophomore Ian Wheeler. However, it was the hosts that took home the overall tally for the second consecutive season.
Facing MACFA rival Stevens Tech in the seventh round, the Fords' epee stood tall with a 6-3 win. Sabre also claimed four victories, but the team was unable to carry that success over to foil. Nevertheless, Haverford closed out the day with a convincing 22-5 victory against another MACFA rival in Yeshiva University.
The scoring leaders on the day for the Fords were topped by sabrist Braun. His impressive 20-4 record was closely matched by fellow classmate and weapon squad member Parker. Parker racked up 17 wins against just seven defeats throughout the day. Freshman epeeist Maxwell Hampton racked up 13 wins, as did co-captains Eric Gardner (epee) and Aldis Gamble (foil).
Up next, fans will have their first chance to catch the team inside the Andy Kates Fencing Salle this Saturday during the second annual Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational and MACFA Round Robin.