STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Haverford College men's fencing team wasted little time getting right back into action with some of the toughest competition it will face all year at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday. Four of the Fords' six opponents finished last season ranked inside the top 10 nationally. That list included Columbia (2nd), Penn (4th), Duke (6th), and host Penn State (9th). Haverford's opponents also featured national powers in Division I Yale and North Carolina as the Fords were the only Division III team in the field.
Leading the foil squad were several prominent victories from Jack Leighninger and Alton Wiggers as both fencers won three bouts. Leighninger's wins included a victory against Yale's NCAA qualifier from a year ago, Cameron Allen. Leighninger also secured victories against Penn and North Carolina. Wiggers was victorious against Yale, Penn, and North Carolina, while losing by just a single touch against Duke's Brycen Rushing – who was also a returning NCAA qualifier. Carter Langen added two bout victories to his squad, notching victories against Columbia and North Carolina. In the matchup with the national runner-up Lions, Leighninger and Wiggers also had two bouts decided by a decisive fifth touch in addition to Langen's victory.
John Hare led the Fords' sabre efforts with a team-high five victories. He posted 2-1 records in back-to-back rounds against Penn and North Carolina. The highlight of his afternoon came when he took down Penn's Adam Green, who placed 22nd as a rookie at last year's NCAA Championships. However, he was not alone as squadmate David Parker also defeated the Quakers' standout to go along with a victory against Duke. First-year Nicholas Conroy also had a win over the Blue Devils and Tar Heels.
Haverford's epee was hampered by two of its regulars missing the weekend as Gabriel Braun made the transition to this squad for the first time in his collegiate career. Nevertheless, first-year Adrian Velonis continued his steady strides and broke through with a win against Penn.
The tough January slate continues for men's fencing as it looks to face the best of the best before the postseason rolls around later this season. Haverford will return to action this Saturday as it travels to Penn for the Philadelphia Invitational. Fencing in University City is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m.
Full team results
Duke 26, Haverford 1
Yale 24, Haverford 3
Columbia 26, Haverford 1
Penn 21, Haverford 6
North Carolina 21, Haverford 6
Penn State 26, Haverford 1