The Haverford College women's fencing team opened its competitive season this past Saturday at the 34th Annual Temple Open, the largest individual collegiate fencing event in the country. The Fords received an array of impressive performances throughout the day.
Freshman epeeist Alexis Auer led the team with the highest finish, placing 14th, having made it into the semifinal round of 16 from a pool of 91 fencers. Just missing the semifinals was senior co-captain Katie Elbert, who placed 17th in the foil competition of 98 fencers. Senior Shannon Horn was the highest-finishing sabrist on the day, placing 21st from the round of 32, of a total of 85 fencers. Auer, Elbert and Horn were three of only a handful of Division III fencers to crack the round of 32 at Temple.
Making the strongest markon the day overall was the epee squad, as Auer was joined in the round of 16 by senior co-captain Sarah Sofia, who was 16th, and right behind was sophomore Juliana Petersen at 17th. In the foil competition, sophomore Leila Braun was right behind Elbert, placing 21st, while junior Jessica Poling placed 48th and sophomore Julie Ta was 57th. Sophomore Elisabeth Hawthorne came in with the next highest finish in saber at 37th, while freshmen walk-ons Diana Schoder and Sofia Tieze, experienced fencers but new to sabre, placed 51st and 73rd, respectively. Both Schoder and Tieze registered their first collegiate fencing wins at the tournament.
Joined by National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association (NIWFA) and Eastern Women's Fencing Conference (EWFC) all- star senior Anjali Baliga, the epeeists look to be the deepest squad on the season and should create some serious havoc with the ability to upset a few Division I programs. The foil and sabre squads have tremendous potential to improve and may very well be the key to postseason hardware.
The Fords will next compete at the Vassar Invitational on Nov. 10. The initial team meet of the year sees Haverford going up against such teams as Cornell University, Sacred Heart University, Wellesley College, host Vassar and EWFC rivals Yeshiva University and the Stevens Institute of Technology, among others.