HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's and women's fencing programs, under the direction of head coach Chris Spencer, have announced their 2018-19 schedules. Challenging his teams with the best competition from across the region has become a staple of the fencing program and this year will be no different as both teams are scheduled to compete in 11 meets which they hope will prepare the team well for individuals looking to make it to the NCAA Championships.
Action on the strips gets underway during the last weekend of October at the Temple Open. The women will fence that Saturday (Oct. 27) while the men get their season underway on Sunday (Oct. 28). The squads will begin traveling together for the first team competitions of the year as the Vassar Invitational is set for Sunday, November 11. Haverford will be at home on Saturday, November 17 when the team takes part in the annual Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational. The Fords will close out the fall semester schedule with a trip to Drew.
Returning to competition in January after a grueling winter training session, Haverford will be tested by some of the elite Division I programs during the Penn State (Jan. 13) and Philadelphia (Jan. 19) Invitationals. The Fords' final preparations before the championship seasons kicks into full gear will be at the Sollee Invitational (Feb. 3), hosted at MIT this year.
The men will begin MACFA team bout competition with the MACFA "A" vs. "C" (Feb. 10) and "B" vs. "C" (Feb. 17) during the month of February. The women will have a meet to be determined on February 10, dependent on the site of the first MACFA bouts. That will be followed by the EWFC Championships, hosted by Hunter, to close February. The women placed fifth at the EWFC Championships a season ago.
March opens up with the women's side traveling to the NIWFA Championships on Saturday, March 2 where the team placed seventh a year ago, moving up two spots from the previous season. The MACFA Championships for the men's team are slated for Sunday, March 3. The Fords placed fourth at this event a season ago and will be looking to hoist their first conference team trophy since the 2012 season after coming close in the last couple of years. Looking to send individuals to the NCAA Championships at Ohio State at the end of March, qualifying to that event will be held on Saturday, March 9 at Lafayette for both genders.
Haverford returns several talented individuals to both teams as it looks to climb the conference ranks this winter. The men return 2017 NCAA Regional Finalist Yan Yan Xie after a third-place finish in foil at the MACFA Championships last year. Kadan Lottick, also an epee bronze medalist last winter, is back to lead that weapon. Perhaps the deepest squad for the men will be sabre where each member of the 2017 MACFA Squad Champions are back, including Gabriel Braun (2016 MACFA medalist) and John Hare (two-time MACFA medalist, 2017 runner-up).
Headlining the returners on the women's side are EWFC All-Stars Katie Bradley, Hanna Kopits, and Anna Neuheardt. Kopits earned first-team All-EWFC status in foil during a breakout rookie campaign. Bradley (epee) and Neuheardt (sabre) were both second-team all-stars in their respective disciplines last year. Entering her senior season, Neuheardt is a three-time EWFC All-Star looking to add to her decorated legacy.