HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's and women's fencing teams have announced their 2019-20 schedules. The Fords, under the direction of head coach Chris Spencer who will be entering his 13th season at Haverford, are scheduled to fence 10 competitions throughout the season with the possibility of further advancement to the NCAA Championships in addition to the team's annual Alumni/ae Bouts and Reception.
The Fords open the season once again at the Temple Open as the women get started on Saturday, November 2 before the men begin their campaign on Sunday, November 3. The following weekend, team competition begins at the Vassar Invitational on Sunday, November 10.
Haverford's home event on the 2019-20 slate is the annual Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational on Saturday, November 16. Those bouts will also serve as the MACFA "C" round robin for the men's side and mark an end to fall semester competition for both teams. Fans will have an additional chance to catch the Fords inside the Andy Kates Fencing Salle during the spring semester on Saturday, January 25 during the Alumni/ae Bouts and reception which get underway at 11 a.m.
The spring semester bouts begin in early January with the Penn State (Jan. 12) and Philadelphia (Jan. 19) Invitationals following intensive sessions during the team's winter training. The Sollee Invitational returns to Brandeis this year and will be held on Sunday, February 2 before conference action begins to heat up on the strips.
The men resume MACFA team competition on Sunday, February 9 at Johns Hopkins as part of the "A" vs. "C" bouts. That same day, the women will take part in a simultaneous competition in Baltimore. MACFA regular season action concludes on Sunday, February 16 with the "B" vs. "C" bouts at a location to be announced. That same day, the women will head to Hunter College for the EWFC Championships where the Fords have placed fifth during each of the last three seasons.
Another split weekend will follow before the teams travel to regionals together. After missing last year's NIWFA Championship due to inclement weather, the women's team will contest that championship on Saturday, February 29. The following day, Sunday, March 1, the men's team will compete at the MACFA Championships. The men have placed fourth in back-to-back years at the MACFA Championship. Sites for both the NIWFA and MACFA Championships will be announced at a later date.
Qualified fencers from both teams will take their talents to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional Championship on Saturday, March 7. Lafayette is once again serving as the host institution for what is widely regarded as the toughest regional in all of NCAA fencing. Haverford fencers who are able to navigate the tough regional field will head to the NCAA Championships which run from Thursday, March 19 through Sunday, March 22 and will be held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich.
Both the men's and women's fencing teams have returning talent that will look to push the Fords up their respective conferences. For the men, seniors John Hare (sabre), Jack Leighninger (foil), and Kadan Lottick (epee) have each qualified to the regional championship during their first three seasons, with Hare just missing a spot at nationals last spring. Hare was also a MACFA silver medalist during the 2017 season when the sabre squad brought home the squad championship. The Fords' fourth senior, Yan Yan Xie, advanced to the regional finals in foil during the 2016-17 season. Nicholas Conroy was the breakout star from last year's first-year class as he advanced to regionals for the sabre squad.
On the women's side, each of Haverford's three regional qualifiers in epee (Sarah Blossom, Katie Bradley, and Maia Carvalho) return to next year's team. Bradley will provide the senior leadership while Blossom and Carvalho found immediate success during their rookie campaigns at Haverford. Junior Hanna Kopits has been a first-team All-EWFC All-Star during her first two seasons with the foil squad and was joined by on the EWFC All-Star team by Bradley and Carvalho last spring. Golda Glasser was also a regional qualifier for the Fords in foil during her rookie campaign.