EASTON, Pa. – The Haverford College men's fencing team was represented by eight individuals at the Mid-Atlantic/South NCAA Regional on Saturday. The Fords' regional is widely considered the strongest in the NCAA with Division I fencing programs Penn, Temple, Penn State, Duke, North Carolina, Princeton, and NJIT all in the field.
The day was highlighted by a finalist appearance from Ying Ying Xie as he placed 12th overall after coming into the weekend as the 18th seed in the field of 36. He started his day with a 4-1 record during the first round. His subsequent 2-3 records in the second and third rounds had him ranked 14th when the field was cut to 18 and in 10th when the final 12 advanced.
In the final round, Xie found himself in a field that was entirely Division I fencers outside of his appearance. He would defeat Samuel Barmann of Princeton and Eoin Gronningsater of Duke (the top seed in the regional entering the day), while also dropping 5-4 bouts to runner-up William Upbin of Penn and his Quaker teammate Adam Elkassas.
With his appearance in the regional final, Xie is currently the at-large selection from the region. The at-large selections to the NCAA Championships will be announced on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Also fencing foil were fellow first years Russell Rivera and Jack Leighninger. Both fencers went 2-3 in the opening round with Rivera placing 27th and Leighninger finishing in the 29th position. Rivera defeated Adam Katwan of Johns Hopkins and Josh Ryan of Drew. Leighninger was victorious against Jared LeBron of Johns Hopkins and Raphael Sitbon-Taylor of Princeton.
In addition to Haverford's success in foil, the Fords also advanced a pair of fencers to the top 24, one each from epee and sabre.
In epee, Kadan Lottick earned advancement into the top 24 from the 31st seed with a 3-2 record in the opening round. Lottick defeated all of his Division III opponents with his two losses coming against North Carolina. He finished the day with a 24th place showing in his rookie season. Eric Gardner saw his decorated career come to an end with a 31st place finish. The four-time regional qualifier for the Fords defeated Lafayette's Conrad Stoerker and had at least three touches in three of his other four matches.
Gabriel Braun led a trio of sabrists with his 19th place finish, missing the top 18 pool by just two touches. He started his day with a 4-1 record in the opening pool and went 2-3 in the second round of fencing. In the second round, he was the lone Division III fencer and took wins against North Carolina's Connor Ritchey and Duke's Duncan DeCaire. DeCaire ultimately placed seventh in the finals. Braun's finish matched his placement from a year ago.
Other sabrists in action were John Hare and David Parker. Hare went 2-3 in his regional debut with victories against rivals Cole Degeorges of NJIT and Danny Dembner of Johns Hopkins to finish in 26th place. He lost a pair of five touch bouts that were tied at four-all to be denied an advancement spot to the top 24. Parker defeated Brian Heist of Drew and finished in a tie for 30th at the end of the first round.