PRINCETON, N.J. – Led by a top-three finish from all three weapon squads, the University of Pennsylvania men’s fencing team captured its third-straight United States Collegiate Squad Championship on Sunday at Princeton. The Quakers finished the Olympic-style event with the gold on epee, silver on sabre, and bronze on foil.
Going in on as the top seed on epee, the Quakers didn’t disappoint. Led by sophomore Zsombor Garzo, the Quakers dispatched squads from Brandeis (45-31), Yale (45-43) and Princeton to earn the gold. A decisive 45-31 win over the Tigers in the finals put an exclamation point on an exciting tournament run. Senior Jake Raynis served as the hero in a come-from-behind win over the Bulldogs. Trailing by a score 40-36, Raynis rattled off 9 out of 12 touches to secure the win. Along with Garzo and Raynis, the epee team consisted of senior R.J. Shipp and freshman Justin Yoo.
The Red and Blue put together a similar run on saber, but were unable to cap it off in the finals against St. John ’s. Penn received a bye into the Quarterfinals, and followed with consecutive wins over Brandeis (45-19) and Yale (45-32). The Quakers battled against the Red Storm, but an early 20-12 deficit proved to be too much. Senior captain Shaul Gordon and freshman Julian Merchant combined to cut the Johnnies’ lead to one at 30-29, but the Red Storm went 15-11 the rest of the way for a 45-40 win.
Penn was once again the top seed on foil, but after notching a Quarterfinal win over Brandeis, was upended by fifth-seeded St. John’s. In a thrilling matchup that went down to the wire, the Red and Storm did just enough to snag a 45-42 win. The Quakers rebounded nicely, however, taking down Columbia in the bronze medal contest by a score of 45-37. The foil squad was composed of Aaron Ahn, Raymond Chen, Denes Marton, and John Vaiani.
Up next, the Quakers will have a weekend off before competing at the NCAA Regionals on March 11-12.