October 25, 2013

Season Preview: Women's fencing aims for a championship season

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford women's fencing team is growing in number, strength, and ability as it begins the season. Coming off a team silver medal at last year's Eastern Women's Fencing Conference (EWFC) Championships, their best finish since 2009, and with five returning first-team all-conference players, the team has a concentration of talent in the senior class. Senior co-captains Katie Elbert and Sarah Sofia have each been first-team all-conference multiple times in both the EWFC and the NIWFA (National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association) and both are a constant threat to qualify for the NCAA Nationals in the foil and epee, respectively. Fellow seniors sabrist Shannon Horn and epeeist Anjali Baliga bring similarly impressive records to the table, and the combination of the four is enough to give competing programs serious pause.

All three weapon squads have depth of skill and ability, and an exuberance and sense of fun that pervades the team culture. Sophomores Leila Braun, Julie Petersen and Elisabeth Hawthorne are all looking to medal in a championship season, as well as junior foilist Jess Poling, who has shown leadership and dedication to the team since her first day.  With the contributions from a talented pool of freshmen, the fencers are looking to challenge for EWFC and NIWFA gold, abiding by the standard that success is not a destination, it is a continuous journey, requiring cooperation, empathy, and hard work.