Pictured: Freshman Thomas Kolasa earned two victories in the
sabre against Penn State.
Photo courtesy: Gil Talbot Photography
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard men's fencing team opened the dual meet portion of its season, topping Sacred Heart, NYU, North Carolina and Vassar at the Harvard Invitational, hosted by the Crimson Sunday. The Crimson also dropped matches to Penn State and Princeton to open the season with a 4-2 record.
Harvard began the day with a 16-11 win against Sacred Heart, taking the sabre and epee weapons by 7-2 scores. Valentin Staller claimed all three matches in the sabre, while Michael Tom and Thomas Kolasa won two matches each. James Hawrot went 3-0 in the epee, while Ben White and Karl Harmenberg picked up two victories apiece. In the foil, Hao Meng picked up both Crimson victories, but Sacred Heart earned a 7-2 win in that weapon.
In Harvard's 17-10 victory over NYU, the epee and foil squads went 6-3, while the sabre team edged its opponents, 5-4. White picked up three victories in the epee, while Hawrot won two of his three matches. Tommasso di Robilant defeated all three of his opponents in the foil, and Meng boasted a 2-1 record. In the narrow 5-4 win in the sabre, Staller and Kolasa recorded two wins each.
The Crimson was edged by Penn State, 15-12, even though Harvard won the epee, 7-2, and the sabre, 5-4. Harvard won the final six matches in the epee, as Harmenberg went a perfect 3-0 against the Nittany Lions, the defending national champions. White and Hawrot also picked up two wins apiece. Staller and Kolasa again combined for four of Harvard's five wins in the sabre.
In round four, Harvard was a perfect 9-0 in the sabre, as the Crimson earned a 17-10 overall win against North Carolina. Staller, Tom and Kolasa each went 3-0 in the sabre bouts. The Tar Heels won the foil and epee rounds, 5-4. The Crimson also took the sabre in its 15-12 loss to Princeton, winning the weapon, 5-4. Staller claimed all three matches against the Tigers, while Tom and Kolasa earned a key victory each. Harvard lost the other weapons to Princeton, 5-4, in the epee and 6-3 in the foil.
In the final match of the day, the Crimson capped the day with a 20-7 victory against Vassar. Harvard swept all three weapns, winning the foil, 5-4, the epee, 7-2, and the sabre, 8-1. DiRobilant had the deciding victory in the foil, while Harmenberg went 3-0 in the epee. Kolasa and Staller also had perfect performances in the sabre, going 3-0 each.