STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Haverford College women's fencing team traveled to Penn State University to take on some of the best fencers on the East Coast on Saturday.
Opening the day with a match against conference rival Drew University, the Fords dominated in the foil and epee, with 8-1 triumphs by each of those squads, on their way to routing the Rangers, 21-6. The sabre was tight throughout but Haverford still triumphed 5-4 on the strength of co-captain Francesca Behling's undefeated performance in the round.
The Haverford women ran into powerhouse Duke University in the second round. Behling and junior Shannon Horn combined for three wins in the sabre, and Sarah Sofia and Juliana Petersen each picked up one in the epee but the Blue Devils overwhelmed the Fords, 22-5.
The University of North Carolina awaited the Fords in the closely contested third round that saw the
Tar Heels narrowly pull out enough bouts to edge out Haverford, 16-11. Losing four bouts by just one point (4-5), the Fords know they can claim victory in their next match against UNC. The foil squad triumphed, 5-4, and sabre was close as Horn went undefeated against the Tarheels' tough line-up. Despite the epee squad's loss, Sarah Sofia sparkled against UNC's Lidea Shahidi, who ran a perfect record against Haverford fencers in several meetings last season.
The day's action came to a close with tough back-to-back losses against the University of Pennsylvania and host Penn State. While the Fords fought for every touch, and made their Division I rivals work hard, only Sofia (5-7 on the day), Horn (10-5),epeeist Rupinder Garcha, and foilists Katie Elbert (9-6) and Leila Braun (6-9) were able to come away with wins from the Quakers and Nittany Lions. All of the aforementioned Haverford fencers, in addition to Behling (5-5), achieved significant wins that will increase their seeding into the NCAA Regionals. The Fords will see most of these teams again in their next outing at the Philly Invitational at Temple University on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Haverford def. Drew, 21-6
Duke def. Haverford, 22-5
UNC def. Haverford, 16-11
UPenn def. Haverford, 24-3
PSU def. Haverford, 21-6