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No. 3 Harvard Men’s Fencing Goes 2-1 at the Ivy League Championship

Staller was by far the Crimson's most impressive fencer at day one of the 2012 Ivy League championships going 8-1 in three dual matches. (Gil Talbot)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 3 men's fencing team and defending Ivy League champion, went 2-1 on the first day of the conference tournament on Saturday, defeating Penn (14-13) and Yale (15-12) while falling to Princeton (14-13). Senior captain Valentine Staller led all Crimson combatants with an 8-1 record during the first day.

Harvard opened up with a victory against Penn defeating the Quakers 14-13 (E:6-3, F:3-6, S:5-4). Staller and Sasha Ryjik both went 2-1 in the Saber field while freshman Brian Kaneshige scored two of the Crimson's three points in the foil field going 2-1. Meanwhile freshman Peregrine Badger, senior James Hawrot and sophomore Michael Raynis all recorded 2-1 records to help score six points in the epee grouping.

In its second match of the day, Harvard slipped by Yale 15-12 (E:3-6, F:5-4, S:7-2). Staller was once against stellar, going a perfect 3-0 against Bulldog fencers. Sophomore Eric Arzoian, junior Thomas Kolasa and Ryjik pitched in with four points of their own as Harvard took down Yale 7-2 in the Saber division. Sophomores Thomas Snell and Lucas Lin both went 2-1 while Kanshige went 1-2 to help edge the Bulldogs in the foil class, 5-4. Despite the efforts of Hawrot who went 2-1, Yale bested the Crimson 6-3 in the epee grouping.

In a match that would decide who finished the day in first place, Harvard met Princeton in the final action of the day. The match was determined by a single point as the Tigers edged the Crimson 14-13. Staller went a perfect 3-0 against Princeton combatants while Kolasa went 2-1, and Ryjik went 1-2 as Harvard defeated the Tigers in the Saber field. Princeton bested the Crimson with the epee going 6-3 against Harvard. The Crimson saw Kanshige and Lin go 2-1 with the foil but it wasn't enough as Princeton took the field 5-4 and the match 14-13.

Harvard finished the day 2-1 and will be back in action tomorrow morning when it has two more dual matches against Columbia and Brown to determine the final Ivy League order and crown a 2012 Ivy League champion.