COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State fencing men’s and women’s squads both walked away from the Elite Invitational Duals in Philadelphia with 3-2 records after facing all Top 20 competitors.
The men’s squad opened the duals with a big win over the reigning NCAA runner ups out of Penn State, edging the Nittany Lions, 15-12. Freshman Bence Bende put up his first two career wins for the Buckeyes helping Ohio State’s 6-3 epee win. Roscoe Swartz contributed three wins, which led the Buckeye sabre squad’s win against the Nittany Lions.
Despite solid performances by foil and sabre, Penn State’s women’s side defeated the Buckeyes 16-11. Both foil and sabre fell 5-4 and epee dropped six bouts.
Both squads picked up wins against the invitational hosts, the University of Pennsylvania, in close matches. Men’s foil and sabre posted wins against the Quakers in tough 5-4 matches. The epee squad walked away with a slightly more comfortable 6-3 victory with all three members, Matthew Comes, Bence Bende and Henry Lange, each putting up a pair of wins.
A trio of three-win contributors led the women’s win over the Quakers. Senior foil captain Gabriela Cecchini led the women’s foil squad to a 5-4 win with three decisive wins herself. Overall team captain Sarah Merza led the sabre squad to strong 6-3 win with three wins herself, as well. Freshman Kristen Ruscitelli also posted three wins, helping the epee squad to a 5-4 win.
The women’s side dominated the North Carolina Tar Heels in a 22-5 win, dropping two bouts in both foil and epee and only one in sabre. Captain Gabriela Cecchini posted another trio of wins for foil, her second of the day. Freshman Julieta Toledo and captain Sarah Merza both marked three wins for the sabre side, leading a decisive 8-1 win. Alexanne Verret and Kristen Ruscitelli both put up three wins each for epee, helping their 7-2 win over the Tar Heels.
The men’s side was just barely edged out in a close 13-14 defeat. Foil fell 7-2 to a tough North Carolina squad, but the Buckeyes fought back in epee, marking a 6-3 win. Despite another three-win performance by Swartz, sabre fell 5-4.
The team split opponents for round two; the women battled Northwestern and the men took on Notre Dame.
A strong 7-2 showing by the sabre squad carried the Buckeyes’ tight 14-13 win over Northwestern. Julieta Toledo posted her second three-win trio of the day and Sarah Merza added her third. Foil fell 6-3 and epee fell 5-4 in hard-fought matches.
The men’s side took down a strong Notre Dame side with a 15-12 win. Foil fell 7-2. However, the Buckeyes came right back with a 7-2 win from the epee side, led by freshman Bence Bende with another three wins. Sabre stabilized the lead by picking up six bouts, led again by Roscoe Swartz.
Both sides fell to Yale in close 15-12 matches. Women’s foil dropped six bouts. Veteran Alexanne Verret contributed three wins to the epee match, but the squad still dropped five bouts, leaving the score at 5-4 Bulldogs. Sabre fell short in a neck-and-neck match, ending with a score of 5-4.
The men’s foil squad dropped eight bouts and sabre dropped six to a talented Yale side. Bence Bende battled for three more wins on the epee squad, but they dropped the match 5-4.
Ohio State Men (3-2)
Round 1: OSU def. Penn State 15-12 (F: 3-6 E: 6-3 S: 6-3)
Round 2: OSU def. UPenn 15-12 (F: 5-4 E: 6-3 S: 4-5)
Round 3: UNC def. OSU 13-14 (F: 2-7 E: 6-3 S: 5-4)
Round 4: OSU def. Notre Dame 15-12 (F: 2-7 E: 7-2 S: 6-3)
Round 5: Yale def. OSU 12-15 (F: 1-8 E: 5-4 S: 6-3)
Ohio State Women (3-2)
Round 1: Penn State def. OSU 11-16 (F: 4-5 E: 3-6 S: 4-5)
Round 2: OSU def. UPenn 16-11 (F: 5-4 E: 5-4 S: 6-3)
Round 3: OSU def. UNC 22-5 (F: 7-2 E: 7-1 S: 8-1)
Round 4: OSU def. Northwestern 14-13 (F: 3-6 E: 4-5 S: 7-2)
Round 5: Yale def. OSU 12-5 (F: 3-6 E: 4-5 S: 5-4)
The Buckeyes are back on the road next weekend, as they head to Pennsylvania for the Penn State Open November 23-24 in State College.