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No. 5 Men’s Fencing Posts 1-4 Mark at St. John’s Invitational

Ryjik swept his opponents against Notre Dame, Ohio State and St. John's (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

QUEENS, N.Y. – In its first dual match of 2014, the No. 5 Harvard men's fencing team posted a 1-4 showing at the St. John's Invitational at the Taffner Field House Sunday.

The opponent field was filled with squads ranked in the top-seven of the CollegeFencing360.com Coaches Poll. Harvard (5-5) toppled No. 2 Penn State, 15-12, to snap the Nittany Lions seven-match win streak over the Crimson. The win marked the first time Harvard bested Penn State since defeating the Nittany Lions, 14-13, on Dec. 2, 2006. Harvard fell to familiar Ivy League foe Columbia, who sits atop the national rankings for the first time in the 14-year poll, 18-9 and No. 10 St. John's, 17-10.  The Crimson also suffered narrow defeats to sixth-seeded Ohio State and No. 4 Notre Dame by an identical score of 14-13.

Junior Alexander Ryjik led Harvard's sabre squad that went 24-18 on the day with a 12-3 record. Sophomore Michael Woo's 10-5 mark led the foil team while senior Michael Raynis posted a 7-8 mark in the epee.

Epeeist Alexander Eldeib and Raynis went undefeated on the strip against their Penn State opponents to help Harvard the invite with a tally in the win Column.

In the second round, the top-ranked Lions swept the Crimson, taking the sabre and foil, 5-4, respectively, and the epee, 8-1. Woo paced Harvard against Columbia, as the Wayne, N.J., local was the lone Crimson fencer to post two victories against the Lions.

Against Notre Dame, Harvard won the sabre, 6-3, but dropped the foil, 3-6, and the epee, 4-5, to drop the close contested match. Ryjik and Raynis went unbeaten in their respective weapons against their Fighting Irish opponents.

The Crimson earned a 6-3 win in sabre over Ohio State and Notre Dame, but Harvard dropped the foil, 6-3, and epee, 5-4, to both the Buckeyes and Fighting Irish to close the invite.

The Crimson looks to earn back-to-back Ancient Eight crowns when it travels to Providence, R.I., Feb. 8-9 for the Ivy League Championships. 

Results

Round 1: No. 5 Harvard defeated No. 2 Penn State, 15-12
Epee (8-1): Eldeib 3-0 / Raynis 3-0 / Simko 2-1
Foil (5-4): Chang 1-2 / Kaneshige 1-2 / Woo 2-1
Sabre (3-6): Arzoian 0-3 / O'Brien 1-2 / Ryjik 1-2

Round 2: No. 5 Harvard lost to No. 1 Columbia, 18-9
Epee (1-8): Eldeib 0-3 / Raynis 0-3 / Simko 1-2
Foil (4-5): Chang 1-2 / Kaneshige 1-2 / Woo 2-1
Sabre (4-5): Arzoian 2-1 / O'Brien 0-3 / Ryjik 2-1

Round 3: No. 5 Harvard lost to No. 4 Notre Dame, 14-13
Epee (4-5): Eldeib 1-2 / Raynis 3-0 / Simko 0-3
Foil (3-6): Chang 1-2 / Kaneshige 0-3 / Woo 2-1
Sabre (6-3): Arzoian 2-1 / O'Brien 1-2 / Ryjik 3-0

Round 4: No. 5 Harvard lost to No. 6 Ohio State, 14-13
Epee (4-5): Eldeib 1-2 / Raynis 1-2 / Simko 1-2
Foil (3-6): Chang 0-3 / Mageras 1-2 / Woo 2-1
Sabre (6-3): Arzoian 1-2 / O'Brien 2-1 / Ryjik 3-0

Round 5: No. 5 Harvard lost to No. 10 St. John's, 17-10
Epee (1-8): Eldeib 1-2 / Raynis 0-3 / Simko 0-3
Foil (4-5): Chang 1-2 / Lin 1-2 / Woo 2-1
Sabre (5-4): Arzoian 1-2 / O'Brien 1-2 / Ryjik 3-0