STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Haverford College men's fencing team traveled to Penn State this past Saturday to compete in its most grueling and demanding tournament of the season – the Penn State Invitational. The Fords took on the best teams in the east, including 2015 NCAA Division I Champion Columbia and runner-up Penn State. Against this top level competition, the Fords won at least five bouts against all of their opponents.
Although unable to claim an overall team victory on the day against their Division I opposition, Haverford's epee squad upset Duke for its second-ever squad win over the powerhouse Blue Devils. The squad also had a series of near-upsets as well throughout its day on the strips that included tough 5-4 defeats at the hands of the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and the University of North Carolina.
Co-captain and epeeist Eric Gardner led all Haverford scorers on the day with an 8-8 record. His day got off to a great start with a 3-0 record in the matchup against Duke. Fellow epeeists Jake Bassinder and Edward Ogborn each posted a solid five wins, while Kailash Faris also rotated into the lineup for the deciding bout against Duke and pulled off a thrilling victory during the close match.
The Fords' sabre squad had impressive showings from each of its three freshmen fencers in the lineup. Undaunted by the nationally-ranked competition, the young squad claimed four bouts from host Penn State and three more from Columbia. Gabriel Braun led the weapon with eight victories throughout the competition, while David Parker added five to his squad's win total.
A young foil squad also received the opportunity to see how it stacks up against some of the toughest competition it will face on the season. That weapon's success was highlighted by Ian Wheeler tallying two victories.
Men's fencing will continue to battle against strong competition this weekend as the team travels to Penn for the Philadelphia Invitational. The men's team will compete on Sunday, January 25 in Philadelphia.
Duke def. Haverford, 21-6
Penn def. Haverford, 21-6
Columbia def. Haverford, 22-5
Yale def. Haverford, 20-7
North Carolina def. Haverford, 20-7
Penn State def. Haverford, 22-5