PHILADELPHIA – A championship run from Raphael Van Hoffelen on saber fueled the men’s fencing squad at the Garrett Open on Sunday at Penn State. The Quakers also picked up six other top-10 finishes in their final tune-up prior to the winter break.
Van Hoffelen took the road less traveled to the first-place podium after registering an average 3-3 record in pool action. Undeterred by a tough top-half draw, the sophomore picked up wins over Yale’s Reed Srere (15-13) and Walter Musgrave (15-13)—who was also the top seed in the bracket—and teammate Adam Green (15-5). He would then take down Penn State’s Karol Metryka in the championship round by a score of 15-13. Speaking of Green (third place), he along with Julian Merchant (eighth place), also put together top-10 finishes on saber.
Penn’s other top weapon group was the foil squad, who produced three finishes inside the top 10. John Vaiani paved the way with a second-place effort. The junior entered the bracket as the No. 2 seed and defeated foes from Ohio State, Penn State, and Penn before finally falling to Notre Dame’s Axel Kiefer in the championship bout (15-6). Raymond Chen followed with a third-place finish, while Aaron Ahn came in 10th.
Zsombor Garzo led the way for the epee squad, finishing eighth. The senior captain picked up a 15-11 triumph over Penn State’s Patrick August in bracket action.
The Quakers will be off until the New Year. Penn will send fencers to the January North American Cup in Columbus Ohio on Jan. 6 before heading back to Penn State for the PSU Invitational on Jan. 15.