UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The ninth-ranked Duke men’s fencing team upset defending NCAA Champion and fourth-ranked Penn State, and the women knocked off No. 8 Penn to post matching 4-1 records at the Penn State Duals on Saturday afternoon in The White Building.
The Duke men (8-2) handled Penn State 16-11 thanks to a perfect 9-0 shutout from the epee team. Junior Tristan Jones and Jonathan Parker led the epees to four wins as Duke defeated Johns Hopkins 22-5, Drew 22-5 and North Carolina 19-8.
The Duke women (7-2), meanwhile, knocked off Penn 19-8, Temple 16-11, shut out Drew 27-0 and dominated North Carolina 25-2. Duke swept all three weapons against Penn, including a 9-0 shutout from the Becca Ward-led saber squad. Ward finished 14-1 for the tournament and now boasts a 28-2 record on the season.
“I am very, very proud of our team today,” Duke head coach Alex Beguinet said. “Not only for how well they fenced, but for how they behaved, their sportsmanship, their support of each other and of how well they represented Duke this trip, both on and off the strip.
“They are growing quickly into a strong team, learning to depend on and support each other. This is a special group of kids.”
The Duke women’s sabers and epees were undefeated on the day, each posting 5-0 records. The sabers amassed two 9-0 shutouts – over Penn and Drew – an 8-1 win over North Carolina and a 5-4 victory over Penn State. The epees also posted a pair of 9-0 shutouts thanks to the leadership of All-America Emily D’Agostino, who matched Ward with a 14-1 record and is also now 28-2 on the year.
From the men’s squad, senior foil Dorian Cohen and junior epee Tristan Jones led the team with 13-2 records. Seven of Duke’s nine participants posted double-digit wins on the day, including junior epee Jonathan Parker who was 12-3. Duke senior Charles Keilin, who had not seen action since his freshman year, upset the defending NCAA Men’s Saber Champion Aleksander Ochoki of Penn State.