Penn State Men's and Women's Fencing Remain Undefeated
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., January 25, 2003 - Penn State fencing looked dominant in dual meet action today at the Mary Beaver White Building, as both squads went 4-0 for the day to remain undefeated on the season. Today's unblemished performance improved both teams to 7-0 and solidified Penn State's No. 1 ranking in both the men's and women's polls.
The men's team got off to a solid start with a 21-6 win over Duke before battling No. 6 Stanford. The Cardinal gave the Nittany Lions trouble in the men's foil, but Penn State picked up important points in the other two weapons to prevail 16-11. The Nittany Lions finished out the day with a 22-5 victory over North Carolina and a 26-1 thrashing of Hunter College.
Two-time All-American junior Adam Wiercioch (Gliwice, Poland) led Penn State in the men's epee by putting together a perfect 10-0 mark for the day. In the men's foil, All-American sophomore Ian Schlaepfer (Rohnert Park, Calif.) posted the best record with a 7-3 performance. The Nittany Lions were especially dominant in the men's saber, winning 33 of the 36 bouts as a team. Freshman Marten Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) and junior Amir Rahimi (Plano, Tex.) were the main contributors with 9-1 and 9-0 records, respectively.
The Lady Lions kicked off the day with a 20-7 win over the Blue Devils. Much like in the men's competition, Stanford provided the biggest challenge for Penn State, largely on the strength of their superb women's foil team. The Lady Lions stepped up to the challenge and claimed all but two points in the other two weapons to pull out a 19-8 victory over the Cardinal. Penn State then cruised to 24-3 victories over North Carolina and Hunter in the final two duals.
Freshman Katarzyna Trzopek (Warsaw, Poland), who claimed the women's epee title at last weekend's NAC Open, continued her stellar play with a 10-1 effort today. Fellow freshman Laura Bocage (Glen Gardner, N.J.) posted a strong performance herself, going 7-2, including a streak of six consecutive wins to close out the day. Sophomore Meredith Chin (Wynnewood, Pa.) paced Penn State in the women's foil with seven wins compared to only two losses. In the women's saber, the Lady Lions followed the lead of their male counterparts, recording an identical 33-3 record as a team. Juniors Heather Brosnan (Portland, Ore.) and Meredith Steyer (Topsfield, Mass.) finished undefeated in the weapon, posting eight and 12 wins, respectively.
Penn State's 21st-year head coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was pleased with the performance yet mindful of room for improvement. "There were some hard moments and there were some good moments," said Kaidanov. "Generally, we did ok."
The Penn State fencing teams will travel to Notre Dame next Sunday, Feb. 2, for another round of regular season dual meets.