PROVIDENCE – IVY CHAMPS!
For the first time since 2001, the Ivy League men’s fencing title resides in Philadelphia. With a pair of wins over Harvard and Yale on Sunday, the Quakers not only won the 16th Ivy championship in program history, they capped a 17-0 regular season.
Penn opened the second round robin with a 16-11 win over Harvard and followed with a 22-5 victory over Yale to clinch the perfect dual meet season.
In the process, seven fencers earned All-Ivy honors, including three first-teamers. Sabre fencers Jonathan Berkowsky and Andrew Bielen and foilist Zane Grodman were named first-team All-Ivy while Alex Simmons (foil), Vidur Kapur (foil), Ben Wieder (epee) and Jacob Wischnia (epee) received second-team distinction. The seven All-Ivy performers were the most by any school.
Against the Crimson, Penn had the edge in sabre and foil by matching 6-3 margins. Harvard won one more bout in epee than the Quakers, winning the weapon, 5-4.
Andrew Bielen was a force in sabre against Harvard, winning all three of his bouts. Freshman Zane Grodman was also a perfect 3-0 against the Crimson. Jonathan Berkowsky (sabre), Vidur Kapur (foil) and Jacob Wischnia (epee) each went 2-1.
“The team did not want to settle for backing into the championship,” head coach David Micahnik said. “The team went out on the offensive against Harvard and battled right away. It was a full team effort.”
Micahnik was quick to credit the team’s intensity.
“The enthusiasm on the bench and on the strips was enormous,” he said. “We started to pull away a bit, generated momentum and ran with it.”
While the victory over Harvard clinched at least a share of the Ivy crown, the Red and Blue still needed to defeat Yale for the unblemished season.
The Quakers made sure the result was never in doubt, dominating all three weapons en route to the 17-point win.
Berkowsky, Bielen, Wischnia and Alex Simmons each went 3-0 against the Bulldogs as Penn won eight bouts in sabre and seven in both foil and epee.
The Quakers now prepare for the IFA Championships in Waltham, Mass. on Feb. 28.