PHILADELPHIA – Columbia fencing had a strong opening competition, going a combined 10-1 at the Penn Elite Invitational, hosted by Penn on Saturday. The men posted a 5-0 mark, while the women went 5-1 with their only defeat coming to Princeton.
Both teams started the day with identical 15-12 victories over Ohio State. On the men’s side, perfect 3-0 marks by foilist Sam Moelis and sabreur Andrew Doddo helped Columbia start the season on the right foot. A dominant 8-1 mark by the women’s epee squad proved to be the difference for them against the Buckeyes.
John Avendano and James Sands entered the foil lineup and swept through North Carolina’s lineup to set the tone in a 21-6 men’s victory over the Tar Heels. In the women’s second round against Northwestern, the Lions came up with a 7-2 victory in sabre to pick up their second 15-12 triumph of the day.
The men had to rally in a thrilling 14-13 contest with NJIT. Columbia took four of the final five bouts in sabre to take a 6-3 win in the weapon to overtake the Highlanders. The women had an easier time with North Carolina, winning all three events to earn a 21-6 decision.
In round four for the women, the Lions and Temple found themselves tied after foil and epee. Trailing 4-3 in sabre, Violet Michel and Anastasia Ivanoff came up with clutch wins to surge past the Owls and give Columbia a slim, 14-13, triumph. Columbia was down 13-10 with both Michel and Ivanoff winning their final sabre bouts. In the final bout of the match in epee, Mason Speta was tied 3-3 with her opponent and won the final point in overtime.
The women took control out of the gate against Cornell and went on for a 20-7 victory, while the men accomplished the same feat the women did against NJIT. With Columbia’s match with Princeton tied after foil and epee, the Lions trailed by one in sabre. This time it was Michael Costin and Doddo mustering up victories to overtake their co-Ivy League champion rivals.
Despite winning foil and epee, a 9-0 Princeton sweep in epee handed Columbia its first defeat of the day. The Lions’ men finished the competition unscathed with a 20-7 campaign against Johns Hopkins.
Columbia will host the Columbia Invitational, featuring Stevens, Johns Hopkins and NJIT, on Friday, November 18.
Columbia (M) 15, Ohio State 12
Columbia (W) 15, Ohio State 12
Columbia (M) 21, North Carolina 6
Columbia (W) 15, Northwestern 12
Columbia (M) 14, NJIT 13
Columbia (W) 21, North Carolina 6
Columbia (W), 14, Temple 13
Columbia (W) 20, Cornell 7
Columbia (M) 14, Princeton 13
Columbia (W) 11, Princeton 16
Columbia (M) 20, Johns Hopkins 7