UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania men’s fencing team began its season on Sunday at the 43rd annual Garret Penn State Open. Taking on competitors from Ohio State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Temple, Brown, and Yale – the Quakers registered seven finishers in the top-13 of their respective weapons.
Penn put together its strongest efforts on foil, posting three in the top 11. Sophomore John Vaiani led the way with a ninth-place finish, while Aaron Ahn and Raymond Chen followed in 10th and 11th respectively. Vaiani was especially impressive in pool play, notching the second seed in the championship round.
R.J. Shipp and Zsombor Garzo compiled the best finishes on epee. Shipp placed 10th, while Garzo finished in 13th. Garza dropped a hard-fought 15-12 battle with Brown’s Simon Jones in the first round of bracket-play. Jones ended up advancing all the way to the finals, and placing second overall.
Senior captain Shaul Gordon compiled Penn’s top showing by tying for third on saber. Seeded eighth in the championship draw, Gordon picked up a 15-12 win over teammate Isaac Buchwald -- followed by a 15-8 triumph over top-seeded Walter Musgrave of Yale. Buchwald ended up finishing ninth.
The Quakers will travel to Kansas City, Mo. next weekend to compete in their first North American Cup of the season.