Fencers Top D-I Opponents

    The Duals was an opportunity for the Triton fencers to be exposed to the level of competition they expect to face at the regionals in March.

    There were three more women’s teams in the compeition than there were men’s, and therefore the women tallied more wins.

    Men’s and women’s scores were combined to form a composite final score for the duel. UCSD went 9-5 overall, with all five losses against national superstars Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, University of Notre Dame and Duke University.

    The women’s team chalked up a number of wins, helping the Tritons hold their own against fierce Division-I opponents like No. 7 Temple, the University of North Carolina and Stanford University.

    “We credit the maturity of the women’s team, who have a lot of seniors and juniors who were able to perform under pressure,” assistant coach Josh Runyan said.

    Photos by John Hanacek/Guardian

    Each day featured eight rounds of duels, or five to six hours of fencing.

    “The tournament was grueling,” Runyan said. “To fence this many fencers in this tournament is taxing.”

    Despite the heavy workload, UCSD scored some notable victories.

    On the men’s side, freshman foil Joseph Schenkel won three bouts, and sophomore foil Michael Fong added two against west-coast rival Stanford.

    Schenkel has had an outstanding season thus far, with strong tournament records and a third-place finish in the 2009 Collegiate Open.

    Schenkel said that, in the tournament, there were some losses that should not have happened, but that the second day was still an improvement from the first.

    “There was a lot of team bonding … the team is really supportive of one another,” Schenkel said.

    Though unable to tally as many victories as the women last weekend, the men’s team is keeping their hopes high for regionals.

    “We have a very talented, fairly young men’s foil team,” Runyan said. “They need to learn from this experience, so they can reach their potential.”

    The men defeated University of Detroit, Cleveland State University, Wayne State University and the University of North Carolina — a win Runyan said he was pleasantly surprised by.

    UCSD will be back in action on Feb. 6 against the California Institute of Technology and UC Irvine, after which they have only to prepare for conference championships.

    “The goal is to get as many people as we can to nationals,” Runyan said. “We’re realistically hoping to get two to five fencers there.”

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