PASADENA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2015) – Having to replace six of the team's top nine fencers from the prior season might seem a tall task, but the Caltech men's fencing team heads into NCAA play this spring fresh off a fantastic fall season of competition. The Beavers posted a 4-2 record in the November Mini Mega Meet, including an upset of Arizona State University, and a trio of competitors showed well at the Elite BladeRunner USFA ROC.
Sophomore Matthew Jin (Fremont, Calif. / Mission San Jose) leads the returners after recording a squad-best win percentage of 47 percent in NCAA Pool competition and a whopping 68 percent in all bouts. The trio of junior Anup Kishore (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) and sophomores Keegan Mendonca (San Jose, Calif. / Lynbrook) and Colin Murphy (San Diego, Caif. / Canyon Crest Acad.) will fill out the foil team after posting overall win percentages of 18, 11 and 14, respectively, last season.
The épeé squad has to replace its four most frequent and successful fencers, with just sophomores Johnathan Stauffer (Rising Sun, Md. / Rising Sun) and William Yu (Portland, Ore. / Westview) returning, but is set to get a big boost from freshman Ethan Lo, who burst onto the scene this fall with a 10-4 record at the Mini Mega Meet in November. Former fencer Taylor Strumwasser's brother, Spencer, has also joined the team this season and will compete with Stauffer and Yu for a spot in the lineup.
Also facing the loss of last year's top two fencers, the saber squad has the benefit of four returners in juniors Christopher Cousté (Cabin John, Md. / St. John's Coll.) and August Nanz (Escondido, Calif./ Escondido), sophomore Marco Cruz-Heredia (Fullerton, Calif. / Washington-Lee) and Murphy, who split his time between saber and foil where needed in 2013-14. Each member of that quartet recorded an overall win percentage between 18-22 percent, not far behind last year's leaders at 36 and 32 percent.
Head Coach Carla Corbit and the Beavers will open NCAA competition at the Western Invitational hosted by Air Force on Saturday, Jan. 17. Caltech will face UC San Diego, Duke University, Florida University, Stanford University, Brandeis University and cap the event against the host Falcons. The tournament will be broadcast live online via this link: http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/videos/.