Duke epee trio lifts No. 10 Blue Devils to upset of second-ranked Notre Dame
DURHAM, N.C. -- Against one of the strongest fields the Duke Home Fencing Meet has ever seen, 10th-ranked Duke came away with four wins, including a 15-12 victory against No. 2 Notre Dame on Saturday in Card Gym.
Squaring off against a group that included No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Notre Dame, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Wayne State (Mich.), the Blue Devils (14-6) went 4-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of Penn State. The Duke epees went 4-1 on the day while the foils finished 3-2 and the sabers 2-3.
Top-ranked Penn State went undefeated on Day One of the Duke Home Meet and took home all three weapon trophies with 40 foil wins, 31 epee wins and 28 saber wins. Duke finished second in epee victories with 28, second in saber wins with 24 and third in foil wins with 21.
Duke's 15-12 win against the second-ranked Fighting Irish came down to the wire, as Notre Dame took saber 5-4 and Duke took foil 5-4. It was the Duke epees who provided the advantage, however, as Josiah Brown, Alessio Santoro and Dylan Nollner combined to win their final three bouts and propel the Blue Devils to a 6-3 win in epee and the three-point win for the bout.
Senior captain Anthony Lin also provided a spark against Notre Dame, defeating all three Fighting Irish opponents he faced, including All-America Kevin Hassett. Lin went 7-2 on the day, running his season record to 35-12 and his career mark to 175-52.
Santoro and Brown, meanwhile, led the team with 10 victories apiece while Nollner finished with seven wins. Those three combined for a 27-11 record on the day as the Duke epees finished with 28 overall wins, just three shy of Penn State which took home the epee trophy with 31 wins. The epees swept North Carolina 9-0 in the first round of the day and also had wins of 5-4 against Wayne State and 6-3 versus Johns Hopkins.