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Highly ranked men's and women's fencing will compete at the NYU and St. John's Invitational.

The Columbia men's fencing squad was ranked first in the Fencing Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday. This marks the first time that a Lion fencing team—men's or women's—has earned the top spot on the prestigious list. The women's team (9-3) also made an appearance at sixth place. 

The poll results were released just days before the Light Blue fencers are set to take on their most heated weekend of bouts. Though they will not be traveling far, the squad will be busy with two events—the NYU Invitational on Saturday and the St. John's Invitational on Sunday. 

“The NYU and St. John's meet will be a tough weekend, but I fully intend to beat all my opponents,” first-year foilist Jessie Laffey said in an email.

The teams gathering at NYU will include some of the toughest competition that the Light Blue has faced so far this season. The lineup includes UNC, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wayne State, and St. John's. St. John's and Ohio State are ranked in the top 10 of the CollegeFencing360 poll for both their men's and women's squads. 

For the women's team, the toughest opponent will come on Sunday. The St. John's Invitational will include Harvard, Ohio State, Penn State, and Notre Dame along with the host, St. John's. The Crimson women's team sits at No. 2 in the rankings.

“It is going to be difficult to get every squad to pull out enough wins,” Laffey said. “During our past competitions, our team has lost by one or two bouts, so we just need to push a little harder to win.”

The NYU Invitational begins at 9 a.m. this Saturday at the Jerome S. Coles Center. The St. John's Invitational starts at the Taffner Field House on Sunday at 10 a.m. | @CUSpecSports

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