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NEW YORK - Following a month-long break from competition, the Columbia men's and women's fencing teams return to the strips at the Penn State Invitational with hopes to continue an already successful season. The Lions will face strong competition in bouts with Drew, Duke, North Carolina, Haverford and Temple (women's team only) slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 12.

The Columbia men are hungry to turn the tables after falling to Penn State and UNC last season, while the women are eyeing their second straight win over the Nittany Lions to top off last year's 14-13 squeaker.

Columbia kicked off 2012-13 in dominating fashion at home with a sweep of its first dual-meet of the year against N.J. Institute of Technology, Tufts and Stevens. Not only did the newcomers make their presence known, Columbia's veterans reestablished their strength on the strip.

The men (2-0) earned a 22-5 victory over Stevens and an 18-9 win over NJIT, while the women (2-0) routed Tufts and NJIT by scores of 23-4 and 25-2, respectively.

Due to the absence of Columbia's top men's saber fencers at a World Cup in Germany, some Lions had the opportunity to fence a different weapon. John Tuddenham, normally a foilist, twice fought back for wins in the sabre competition. He was tied 3-3 in a key late bout vs. NJIT, then won 5-3.

First-year Rienzi Gokea, who went undefeated on the day (6-0) clinched the men's NJIT match for Columbia with a 5-4 victory over Adam Lewicki, the 14th Columbia win of the night.

Also remaining unbeaten for the year was Harry Bergman (3-0, foil), and four members of the men's epee lineup, including Alex Hadzic, Jake Hoyle, Andrei Tapai and Justin Wan, who each went 3-0 on the day.

The women dominated across the board. Sarah Yee dominated the sabre category with a 6-0 sweep, while Sarah Gruman (4-0) and Loweye Diedro (2-0) also held their opponents winless.

In women's foil, Jackie Dubrovich, D'Meca Homer, two-time Junior Foil World Cup champion Margaret Lu, and 2012 London Olympians Nzingha Prescod and Nicole Ross all went undefeated on the day with 3-0 records. Lydia Kopecky and Emma Peterson joined their unbeaten classmates with perfect 3-0 marks in women's epee.

Women's Schedule - Jan. 12, 2012
8:30 a.m. Columbia vs. Temple
9:40 a.m. Columbia vs. PSU
10:50 a.m. Columbia vs. Drew
12:30 p.m. Columbia vs. Duke
1:40 p.m. Columbia vs. UNC

Men's Schedule - Jan. 12, 2012
8:30 a.m. Columbia vs. Haverford
9:40 a.m. Columbia vs. PSU
10:50 a.m. Columbia vs. Drew
12:30 p.m. Columbia vs. Duke
1:40 p.m. Columbia vs. UNC


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