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January 22, 2013

Fencing Update - 1

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The first coach's poll of the 2012-13 fencing season were announced this week and the Ivy League four teams in the Top 10 on both the men's and women's side. 

On the women's side, Princeton sits atop the poll, garnering eight of the 10 first-place votes. Columbia is third, a point ahead of Ohio State in the balloting. Harvard is eighth and Penn in 10th. 

In the men's Top 10, Princeton is fourth, with Harvard, Columbia and Penn bunched together in sixth, seventh and eighth. 

Here is a team-by-team look at some highlights from the 2012-13 season thus far:

Brown
The Brown women are off to an 8-1 start on the season, while the men are 7-2 thus far. Brown has had off since December 2 and returns to action this weekend when it hosts NFC No. 2. In their last outing at Brandeis,
on the men's epee squad, freshman Simon Jones went 8-4 while senior captain Kelly McGuire  had a 6-5 record, including a 2-1 mark against the powerful St. John's epee team. For the women, junior Laney Caldwell posted a 6-4 record and senior captain Cory Abbe (Scappoose, OR) went 7-4, with an undefeated 3-0 mark against Johns Hopkins. 

Columbia
The Lions are 7-0 on the women's side and 6-1 on the men's side. Last weekend, Columbia's women knocked off Penn State, 15-12, as part of a perfect 5-0 mark at the Penn State Invitational. Margaret Lu was a perfect 12-0 in foil and Lydia Kopecky went 11-4 in epee. The men went 4-1, dropping their first match of the year to Penn State. Brian Ro was 9-1 and Jake Hoyle was 8-2 to lead the win in epee. Columbia will face a strong field this weekend when it participates in the St. John's Super Cup. 

Cornell
Cornell's women are 12-1 thus far this season. The Big Red return to action for the first time since early December when they go to the Philadelphia Invitational this weekend. Cornell went 4-1 at the Brandeis Invitational in its last outing. Angelica Gangemi (12-2) and Christine McIntosh (11-4), led the Big Red in wins on the day, while Audrey Speer (10-5) and Beverly Yang (10-5) in saber and Taylor Wong (10-5) in epee each won double digit matches.

Harvard
Harvard's men are 4-1 thus far on the season, while the Crimson women are 5-1. Both teams return to action this weekend at the St. John's Super Cup. Michael Raynis went 13-1 in epee to lead Harvard's men in their opening weekend at Vassar. Junior captain Alexandra Kiefer and freshman Nina van Loon posted 14-1 records on the women's side at Vassar in a 4-1 weekend to open the year. The Harvard women later trounced rival Tufts, 26-1. 

Penn
The Quakers are 7-2 on the women's side and 7-1 on the men's side. The men suffered their first setback of the year at Penn State last weekend, 20-7. to snap a six-match unbeaten streak to open the year. Michael Mills is 11-2 thus far this season in sabre for the Quakers. Adam Elkassas is 14-4 while Ira Schlosberg is 12-4 in foil. On the women's side, Wendy Zhao is 20-3 in foil this season to lead the Quakers. Luona Wang is 15-2 in foil, as well. 

Princeton
Featuring defending NCAA epee champion Jonathan Yergler, the Princeton men are 4-1 thus far this season. The lone setback came in a narrow 15-12 loss to Penn State. Phillip Dershwitz, an NCAA semifinalist last year, was 12-3 on the day in saber. The women earned their top-ranking with a 5-0 start thus far this season. The Tigers swept all five matches at Vassar and are now looking forward to the Northwestern Duals the first weekend of February with a 20-match winning streak in dual competition. Two-time All-American Hannah Safford was a perfect 10-0 in epee. 

Yale
The Bulldog men are 5-2 on the season, while the women are off to a slow start at 1-5. The men went 5-1 at Brandeis to open the year, defeating Brandeis, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, MIT and North Carolina. Both of their losses have been nail biters, falling to St. John's 15 -12, at Brandeis and losing last weekend in a dual to Sacred Heart, 14-13.