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Duke women finish 4-1 on final day of Duke Invitational

Posted Saturday, February 11, 2006

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Durham, NC - The Duke women’s fencing team earned four victories in five dual matches on Saturday in the Duke Invitational to improve to 11-7 on the year. The women earned top billing in the weapon standings in both the saber and epee. The saber team won all five of their bouts and the epee squad went 4-1 on the day.

The saber team went undefeated in competition on Saturday to earn the Saber Cup and improve to 14-4 overall. Two-time All-America Ibtihaj Muhammad led the way for the Blue Devils. Muhammad, a junior from Maplewood, N.J., finished with a perfect 15-0 mark on the day to improve to an impressive 40-3 overall for the year. It was the second time this season she finished with an undefeated record at a tournament. She went 11-0 at the Philadelphia Invitational Multi-Meet on Jan. 21. It was also the second time in her career that she passed the 40-win total for the season. Allison Schafer also finished with a winning record in the Duke duals. She went 9-6 to improve to 35-18 on the year while Annie Massart posted an even 7-7 mark. Jessica Hancock also saw action with a loss in her only bout.

The women also earned the Epee Cup after posting wins in four of their five matches to improve to 12-6 for the season. They also received a perfect performance as Anne Kercsmar, a 2004 All-America, compiled wins in all 15 of her matches. Kercsmar reached the 40-win plateau for the second time in her career, improving her season record to 41-11. Dorothy Hubbard, a senior captain from Shreveport, La., also had a good day with a 12-3 record. She improved to 36-16 on the year, one win shy of a career high. Theresa Poulos rounded out the epee squad with a record of 4-11.

In foil, the Blue Devils defeated North Carolina and Johns Hopkins and are now 7-11 overall. Sophomore Marilyn Tycer led the group with a record of 11-4 on the day. She is now 35-21 on the year, giving her 12 more wins than she had as a freshman. The two Duke freshman on the competition team, Sasha Stein and Stephanie Butnick also helped the team to the two wins. Stein finished 5-10 while Butnick was 3-12 on the day.

Duke earned an 18-9 victory over North Carolina on Saturday but failed to gain any ground in the Carlyle Cup race as the Tar Heels took the point for fencing. The Carolina men defeated the Blue Devils 19-8 on Friday and finished the weekend with a slight 28-26 overall record to earn the point. Duke now trails in the series 8-6 with the next point up for grabs at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Blacksburg, Va. Feb. 23-25.

Next up for the Blue Devils will be the Junior Olympics in Hartford, Conn. beginning on Friday.

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