Women's fencing puts scare into nationally-ranked Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Haverford women's fencing team competed against all Division I opponents at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday.
Matches against the University of North Carolina (UNC), Duke, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania and the host Nittany Lions gave the Fords the opportunity to gain experience for their freshmen as well as garner wins that will help their seeding later in the season at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals.
Haverford finished with no overall team wins on the day, however the epee squad picked up victories over UNC and Penn, at 5-4 and 6-3, respectively. The epeeists also shined against the hosts as they fought Penn State to a tie at 4-4, forcing the Nittany Lions into a tie-breaker bout that was narrowly lost 3-5 by Sarah Sofia.
In similar fashion, the women's foil squad, behind 0-4 against Penn State in the last round, came back with four straight wins to tie it up at 4-all. Katie Elbert also brought the final bout to 4-4 before losing in a heartbreaking and epic battle. With 15 NCAA National Championships, Penn State is the winningest fencing program in the history of the sport, and was third at last year's championships. The Haverford women's squad has never won more than five bouts total against the Nittany Lions in program history and consequently the Fords, led by the seniors, have put the fencing world on notice that they are a force with which to be reckoned.
Next week the fencers will host their alumni bouts and banquet event at home before competing in the Philly Invitational at Penn on January 26. Haverford will face many of the same opponents at Penn that they did this past Saturday.
UNC def. Haverford, 19-8
Duke def. Haverford, 21-6
Columbia def. Haverford, 22-5
Temple def. Haverford, 23-4
Penn def. Haverford, 16-11
PSU def. Haverford, 18- 9