No. 3 Penn State Men¡¯s Fencing Tops No. 4 Columbia and No. 7 Penn
ITHACA, N.Y., February 22, 2004 ¨C The No. 3 Penn State men¡¯s fencing team posted crucial wins over No. 4 Columbia and No. 7 Penn today in dual meet action at Cornell. The women¡¯s squad, which is ranked No. 2 along with Ohio State, picked up valuable wins over No. 5 Penn, No. 8 Temple, and Cornell, but the Nittany Lions suffered a disappointing loss to No. 4 Columbia-Barnard.
The Nittany Lion men¡¯s squad looked very impressive against its two ranked opponents. Penn State made a statement early with a 17-10 win over Columbia. The Nittany Lions followed that up with a solid 19-8 victory over the Quakers. With the two wins, Penn State now stands at 11-2.
The men¡¯s squad saw two of its fencers register undefeated performances in the men¡¯s epee. Three-time All-American Adam Wiercioch (Gliwice, Poland) and sophomore Alexander Bruscke (North Caldwell, N.J.) both posted 6-0 marks in today¡¯s action. In the men¡¯s saber, veteran senior Amir Rahimi (Plano, Texas) recorded a flawless effort with a 4-0 record on the day. Marten Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.) was close behind with a 4-1 record of his own in the weapon. Ian Schlaepfer (Rohnert Park, Calif.) led the way in the men¡¯s foil, going 5-1 through the day.
The women¡¯s team looked impressive against Penn, with an 18-9 win over the team that recently moved up from No. 8 to No. 5 in the latest United States Fencing Coaches Association poll. The Nittany Lions looked even more dominant in a 24-3 win over No. 8 Temple. The lady fencers picked up their third win with an 18-9 triumph over host Cornell. Their lone setback came against a talented Columbia-Barnard squad that sits right behind Penn State in the rankings. After today¡¯s action, the Nittany Lions sport a 13-2 record.
Defending National Champion Katarzyna Trzopek (Warsaw, Poland) battled an ankle injury to record nine wins in 11 bouts today in the women¡¯s epee. In the women¡¯s saber, Heather Brosnan (Portland, Ore.) made a solid return from a nagging injury of her own to go 6-3 for the day. Freshman Sophia Hiss (Oklahoma City, Okla.) continued to do well in the women¡¯s saber after switching over from the women¡¯s foil, as she won eight of 12 bouts. The Nittany Lions dominated in the women¡¯s foil, with three athletes combining to go 26-3 on the day. Junior Co-captain Meredith Chin (Wynnewood, Pa.) lost only one of her 10 bouts, and Annekathrin Donath (Touber, Germany) won eight of 10. Freshman Tamara Najm (Morristown, N.J.) posted a perfect 9-0 mark, but she did not see action against the tough Columbia-Barnard squad.
Penn State head coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was fairly pleased with the overall results today, despite the tough loss to Columbia-Barnard. ¡°Unfortunately, we lost the match to Columbia, but we still have time to get better,¡± said Kaidanov. ¡°Overall, it was ok.¡±
Penn State will return home for its final dual of the season, a battle against Rutgers slated for 1 p.m. in the White Building on Saturday.