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Harvard Edges Defending National Champion Penn State, Goes Undefeated at Invitational

Junior co-captain Valentin Staller went undefeated Sunday at the Sacred Heart Invitational (Harvard Athletic Communications).

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Depth was once again the story for the Harvard men's fencing team, as it went a perfect 5-0 against teams at the Sacred Heart Invitational Sunday, including edging the defending national champion Penn State, 14-13.

"We had a very good day," said Harvard head coach Peter Brand. "Certainly the quality of the men we faced was, in general, higher. The Penn State team is national champions from last year, but we did pretty good."

Junior co-captain Valentin Staller went undefeated on the day in the saber competition, including a win over Penn State's Alexsander Ochocki, the 2009 men's saber individual champion. The team went 5-0 with dual wins over NYU, Penn State, Vassar, North Carolina and Sacred Heart.

"The Penn States and Notre Dames are typically focused on just winning the national title and they'll have two strong fencers in each weapon, but we're a little deeper," said Brand. "The next competition in January is also going to be extremely difficult, but we're definitely starting on the right foot."

The Crimson returns to competition in 2011 at the St. John's Super Cup in Queens, N.Y., Jan. 23.

Harvard   20   NYU   7
Harvard   14   Penn State   13
Harvard   25   Vassar   2
Harvard   17   Sacred Heart   10
Harvard   17   North Carolina   10