MIT Tops Air Force at Duke Invitational

Senior Joey Rafidi
Senior Joey Rafidi

DURHAM, N.C. – In its push towards the post season, the MIT men's fencing team squared off against a highly competitive field at the Duke University Invitational on Saturday. The Engineers (15-10) defeated the U.S. Air Force Academy (14-13) but fell to UNC (17-10), the host Blue Devils (19-8), Johns Hopkins University (19-8), and Brandeis University (16-11). The epee team had the best outing for the Cardinal and Gray as it compiled a ledger of 24-21, followed by the sabre squad at 15-30, and the foil contingent at 12-33.

Freshman Sam Judd (Wyckoff, N.J.) led the way for the epee team with a 9-4 ledger as he swept Johns Hopkins and went 2-1 versus Duke and Air Force. Senior Joey Rafidi (Los Angeles, Calif.) came in next with a total of 8-4 that featured a 3-0 outing against UNC and 2-1 performances versus Johns Hopkins and Air Force. Sophomore Giulio Gueltrini (Ravenna, Italy) generated a 3-3 mark courtesy of a 2-1 decision over Brandeis and added a win over UNC while sophomore Dinis Cheian (Chisinau, Moldova) rounded out the squad with a 4-10 ledger as he recorded two victories over UNC and tacked on wins against Duke and Air Force. As a unit, MIT defeated UNC (6-3), Johns Hopkins (5-4), and Air Force (5-4) but were edged out by Duke and Brandeis by 5-4 scores.

Freshman Benjamin Lin (Beaverton, Ore.) powered the sabre squad with a 9-6 total after blanking Air Force and putting up 2-1 marks against UNC, Johns Hopkins, and Brandeis. Senior Ehsan Izadmehr (Wayne, N.J.) had 2-1 performances against Air Force and Brandeis in addition to wins over UNC and Duke en route to a 6-9 record. Sophomore Laphonchai Jirachuphun (Chantaburi, Thailand) and freshman Kyle Saleeby (Destin, Fla.) also competed for the Engineers but they were unable to come away with a win. The team topped Air Force (5-4) and nearly defeated Brandeis and UNC as it fell by margins of 5-4 and 6-3, respectively.

Junior David Wyrobnik (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and sophomore Scott Robinson (Califon, N.J.) paced the foil squad with identical 4-8 ledgers while freshman Christopher McKinney (Concord, Mass.) came in at 4-11. Wyrobnik was 2-1 against Brandeis and contributed victories over UNC and Johns Hopkins while Robinson put up a 2-1 ledger versus Air Force and defeated foes from Duke and Brandeis. McKinney generated 2-1 marks against Duke and Air Force as senior Jim Clark (Falls Church, Va.) fell in his bouts to Johns Hopkins and Air Force, resulting in a tally of 0-6. Finishing with a record of 12-33, MIT dropped 6-3 decisions to Duke and Brandeis in addition to being edged out by Air Force, 5-4.

The Engineers conclude the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 12 when it hosts the Beanpot, which will feature Boston College, Brandeis, and Harvard University.