Winter break did not faze the Columbia fencing team. With the Ivy championships coming up in the first week of February, both the men's and women's teams put together good showings at the Virginia Beach North America Cup over the weekend.
“The great thing about Columbia fencing is that we win,” head coach Michael Aufrichtig said.
Sophomore foilists Jackie Dubrovich and Margaret Lu and junior foilist Nzingha Prescod starred on the women's side. Lu took first place and Dubrovich took fifth in junior women's foil, while in Division I foil, Dubrovich took first and Prescod fifth. On the men's side, sophomore foilist Adam Mathieu took first in the Division I tournament. Sophomore Brian Ro also took third in junior épée, while sophomore Geoffrey Loss and first-year Chris Ahn took second and fifth in junior sabre, respectively.
A week earlier, both teams also put together strong performances at Penn State.
The men's team (13-0) soundly razed opposing squads with a 5-0 record for the day. The Lions defeated Penn State 15-12 and Haverford 23-4 to complement victories over North Carolina (20-7), Duke (16-11), and Drew (27-0). Sabrist Ahn and junior épéeist Andrei Tapai both finished the day with perfect 9-0 marks. Mathieu also put up strong scores, winning 11 of his 15 bouts.
The women's squad (9-3) had a tougher time, but still took three of five matches. After a 17-10 loss to Penn State, the Light Blue crushed Haverford 23-4 and North Carolina 21-6. It was also able to pull off a 19-8 win over Duke before falling 14-13 to Temple. Lu (12-0) and Dubrovich (11-1) continued to hold their own in foil, with first-year épéeist Mason Speta going 11-2.
Aufrichtig said he knew the team was well-prepared for the competition despite the holiday break. “Even if some went home, they went back and were still training,” he said.
The Lions are next in action at the NYU Invitational on Saturday, followed by the St. John's Invitational on Sunday.
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