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PHILADELPHIA - As the lone remaining unbeaten team in the nation, the #7 men's fencing team will be wearing a rather large target on its back heading into this weekend's Ivy League Round Robins, hosted by Yale on Saturday and Sunday in Coxe Cage.
A year ago at Princeton, the Quakers finished third out of six teams, compiling a 3-2 record over the two days of competition. Close losses to eventual champion Harvard (16-11) and second place Yale (15-12) sealed Penn's fate early on. Evan Prochniak ended the weekend as a First Team All-Ivy selection after going 11-4 overall in sabre. Zane Grodman in foil and Clifford Fishler in epee both earned Second Team honors.
This time around, the first two bouts may well decide Penn's finish. At 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Quakers will be across the strips from #3 Harvard. The Crimson enter this weekend at just 5-5 overall, but all the losses have come against top competition, including two losses to Penn State and one against defending national champion Notre Dame.
At 12:30 p.m., Penn and Princeton will renew acquaintances. Ranked #2 in the first CF360 poll of the season, the Tigers have raced out to a 14-2 start with losses to only #5 Ohio State (15-12) and #1 Penn State (14-13). Following the lunch break, matches at 2:45 with Columbia and at 4:15 with Brown bring Day One to a close.
Sunday will be a light day of work for the Quakers, but their lone bout of the day could have far-reaching consequences for their title hopes. With byes in the first and third rounds, an 11:30 a.m. meeting with the host #10 Yale Bulldogs will be Penn's last opportunity to grab a win and improve its standing. Yale comes in at 9-4, with all four losses to ranked opponents.
Action at this year's Ivieswill not be streamed, however you can follow the above links to stay up-to-date through a live blog as well as round-by-round results posted shortly after the conclusion of each bout.