Stanford opened the 2015 fencing season with a bang at the Western Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo., Saturday. The men's team went 6-0 for a perfect debut and the women's squad beat host Air Force en route to a 3-4 record.
The men's squad dominated Florida and Cal Tech by a combined score of 51-3 for two highlights of the day. Duke provided the toughest test, but the Cardinal prevailed 14-13. Stanford also defeated UCSD, 16-11, Brandeis, 19-8, and Air Force, 15-12.
Captain Justin Lee, a junior majoring in biology, won 16 of 18 bouts in foil to lead the way individually. The Cardinal also received a strong performance from Daniel Wolfson, a math major from Marietta, Ga. Wolfson finished 14-4 at sabre to begin his junior campaign after reaching the semifinals of the NCAA West Regional in 2014.
The key to the undefeated record wasn't those dominant performances, but rather the strong collegiate debuts of freshmen Harrison MacRae, Andre Cornman, Darren Mei and Logan Spear. Those four combined to go 49-21 in their 70 bouts, acting like veterans in their first competition.
In addition to a key 14-13 win against Air Force, the women's squad picked up a 26-1 win against Florida and a 16-11 victory against Cal Tech. The Cardinal fell to UCSD, Duke, Brandeis and Northwestern.
Stanford returns to action at the Midwest Invitational on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Evanston, Ill. The Midwest Invitational is the last scheduled competition for the Cardinal before the NCAA West Regional on March 7.
While the Cardinal began its season on a strong note in Colorado, senior Alexander Massialas was thousands of miles away representing the US Men's National Team at a World Cup Event in Paris. Massialas won bronze individually in men's foil and helped the United States capture the gold medal in the team foil event.
Massialas is a two-time medalist at the NCAA Championships, winning gold as a freshman in 2013 and bronze as a sophomore in 2014. Massialas also finished 13th in the individual and fourth in the team competitions at the 2012 London Olympics.