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Karol Metryka’s Saber National Title Leads Penn State Fencing To NCAA Runners-Up Finish

Penn State fencing finished its season with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and a Nittany Lion crowned an individual national champion over the weekend in Cleveland.

The squad was led by Karol Metryka, who took home the men’s saber national title. The senior improved upon his previous NCAA Championship seventh- and ninth-place finishes with a stellar 19-4 record in the round robin phase to move him into a tie for first heading into the championship round. He ousted Fares Ferjani of St. John’s in the semifinals, 15-8, before taking down Daniel Kwak of Princeton in the final, 15-12.

Metryka secured Penn State’s third men’s saber national title in the last five years, following Andrew Mackiewicz, who had championship runs in 2015 and 2016.

For the second straight year, Zara Moss came close to capturing a national title in women’s saber. The sophomore finished fourth in the round robin with a record of 16-7, but upset top-seeded Elizabeth Tartakovsky of Harvard in the semifinals, 15-8. Moss would place second once again, falling to Karolina Cieslar of St. John’s, 15-13, in the final.

Along with the saber finalist duo, the Nittany Lions crowned five other All-Americans: Karen Chang in women’s saber, Lodovica Bicego in women’s foil, Anastasia Kalonji in women’s epee, Sebastiano Bicego in men’s foil, and Anton Piskovatskov in men’s epee.

Despite being the only team with All-Americans in each discipline, the Nittany Lions finished the NCAA Championships as runners-up with 166 points, 12 behind national champions Columbia/Barnard. Second place is Penn State’s best finish at the championships since 2015. The team’s 13 co-ed NCAA titles are still more than double any other program.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.

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