Ivy League Round-Robins Championship Central
CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - The No. 8 Penn men's fencing team put itself in a position to share the Ivy League crown on Sunday, but a 14-13 defeat at the hands of Harvard slid the Quakers into a second-place tie along with Columbia and Princeton.
The day started as well as could have been hoped for, a 19-8 win over Brown despite a 5-4 disadvantage in sabre. Foil (8-1) and epee (7-2) both picked up the slack, with Leland Bernstein and Ayyub Ibrahim each posting 3-0 marks against the Bears.
Improving to 3-1 with the win, the stage was set for Penn and the No. 7 Crimson - entering the round at 4-0 - to decide a champion. A 7-2 edge for sabre, with three wins from Michael Mills, was offset by a 7-2 defeat in epee in which only Ibrahim scored for the Red and Blue. The two foil squads went back and forth at each other, with the result being a 4-4 deadlock entering the final bout that pitted Jason Chang against his brother, Jerry. The two of them proved to be as evenly matched as everyone else on the teams, with the bout going the distance. Unfortunately for Penn, Jerry was able to land the last touch, netting Harvard the point and a 14-13 clinching victory.
Mills ended the Round-Robins at 11-3 and was awarded first-team All-Ivy in sabre. A trio of Penn fencers - Evan Prochniak (9-5 in sabre), Adam Elkassas (9-6 in foil) and Ibrahim (9-5 in epee) - all made the second team.
The Quakers return to action next weekend at the NCAA Regionals, hosted by Lafayette College on March 9 from the Kirby Sports Center. Penn will have the opportunity to qualify as many as six men for the NCAA Championships later this month in San Antonio.