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Deep men's, women's fencing rout overmatched competition at Vassar invite

While most Princetonians were off campus, relaxing in the sun or the snow, the men's and women's fencing teams were hard at work this Intersession.

The double practices all week proved beneficial Sunday when the Tigers dispatched the rest of the competition at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The women's team (9-2 overall) emerged with a 22-5 victory over Vassar and a 16-11 win over Brown, while the men (8-2 overall) creamed both Army and the Bears by 20-7 counts and Stevens Tech by the gaudy score of 25-2.

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The Tiger women had no difficulty beating both teams this weekend. Princeton was victorious in all but five bouts against the Brewers and overcame Brown with great ease.

"It was an easy meet for us. This weekend gave us a lot of confidence which will hopefully help us in the upcoming meets that will be harder," freshman foil Mindy Rostal said.

Throughout the weekend, the Tiger female foils faced little competition from their opponents, defeating their counterparts from Brown and Vassar in quick bouts.

Princeton's underclassmen dominated competition this weekend. Rostal, who recently recovered from a sprained ankle, won all six of her bouts. Sophomore foil sensation Eva Petschnigg likewise wasted no time in displaying her ability, not allowing her Bear and Brewer challengers to make any contact. Allowing no hits during any of her bouts, Petschnigg was back on the bench in record time.

The Tiger bench was nearly empty, as many of Princeton's substitutes got the chance to participate in the action.

"Being able to use our substitutes says a lot about our team," junior captain and epee Lisa Leslie said. "We have a lot of depth which should hopefully give us an advantage as the season gets harder."

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The men, much like their female counterparts, had little difficulty dispatching their opponents. Exhibiting great talent and depth, the male Tigers easily turned away upstart squads from Army, Brown and Stevens Tech.

"Intersession was really important for us. We trained really hard all week to prepare for not only this tournament, but for the season," senior captain and epee Jason Burrell said. "Prior to Intersession, I felt the team was not cohesive."

The men's team appeared more unified Sunday as they had no trouble getting off to a good start against all three teams.

"We came out looking a lot better than before," Burrell said.

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Princeton's male foils beat the Knights and Brewers in all their bouts while surrendering only two to the Bears. The epee and sabre teams had slightly more challenging bouts, yet they still turned out strong performances and defeated all three teams.

"This meet was a good warm-up for our more difficult meets which lie ahead," Burrell said.

The Tigers hope to continue their success Saturday when they take on Ivy rival Columbia and perennial powerhouse St. John's in New York City.

"We have a good chance against both teams," Burrell said. "We fenced well this past weekend and are prepared to to step it up a notch this weekend."

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