Columbia, clinging to a six-point lead over Pennsylvania after eight rounds, edged the Quakers, 5-4, in their ninth-round match and went on to claim the team title in the Intercollegiate Fencing Association championships today at Halsey Field House.
The individual competition will continue Sunday at 9 a.m.
The Lions, who finished the regular season with a 12-0 record, got victories from Steven Trevor (epee), Robert Cottingham and Russell Wilson (sabre) and Richard Newman and William Mindel (foil) against Pennsylvania, totaling 82 points and reclaiming the championship they lost to the Quakers in 1985.
Pennyslvania was second with 72 points. New York University (65), Yale (60) and Princeton (48) rounded out the top five.
"We told our guys that every win against Penn was worth two points," said Columbia Coach George Kolombatovich. "Not only was it a point for us, but also a point they wouldn't get."
In their match with Columbia, Pennsylvania stayed even through eight bouts but lost any chance of defending its title when Michael Schaedle was beaten in the foil by Newman, 5-2.
"This year we're not quite strong enough to win," said Quakers Coach David Micahnik. "The only way to win a monster tournament like this is to make every touch and win every bout . . . . We weren't lucky enough."
Columbia, led by all-Americas Cottingham and Trevor, also claimed the team titles in all three events and became the first team since 1961 to win all four categories. Wilson, a three-time member of the junior world team, was the only fencer to win all 11 bouts.
"This team rolls over a lot of clubs," said Trevor, a member of the 1984 Olympic team. "No one here has the kind of depth or background we have."
NYU built its finish upon the talents of 1984 Olympian Michael Lofton (sabre) and Demetrius Valsamis in the epee. Valsamis, the 1984 NCAA champion in the foil, switched to the epee for today because NYU has performed poorly in the event.