2018-19 Season Review
Season overview: Squaring off with opponents from a schedule that annually is laden with Division I foes, the Haverford College men's fencing team racked up 15 wins and placed fourth at the MACFA Championships this year. The Fords defeated Division I foe Brown to highlight some of their success against their perennially strong schedule.
Haverford concluded its MACFA dual competition schedule with an overall record of 8-5. The Fords' sabrists were once again among the best in the conference as they placed second as a weapon squad at the conference championship. Haverford's foil and epee squads were fourth and seventh, respectively. Kadan Lottick replicated his bronze medal performance in epee during the individual portion of the MACFA Championships, while sabre sensation David Parker placed fifth overall. The Fords sent five qualifiers to what is widely considered the toughest regional in all of NCAA fencing, the Mid-Atlantic/South.
Season Notes: With 15 team victories this season, head coach Chris Spencer recorded the 200th victory of his career at Haverford on the men's side … Spencer is the only coach in school history to lead the men's team to 20-plus dual wins in a season, doing so on three different occasions while also leading three MACFA Championship squads … The Fords wrapped up a 10-match winning streak, which began last spring, at the Sollee Invitational … That stretch is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in program history and the team's most consecutive wins since the 2011-12 campaign … Kadan Lottick is now a two-time medalist in epee, winning bronze medals at the championship meet during each of the past two seasons … Senior David Parker made his first career appearance in the MACFA individual finals, placing fifth overall … The Fords have now had a sabre finalist at the MACFA Championships during each of the past four seasons, winning the 2017 squad championship during that span … John Hare placed 13th at the NCAA Regional Championships, falling just one touch shy of a finals appearance and the "at-large" seat to the NCAA Championships … Hare was the top Division III sabrist at the regional … Haverford has qualified three sabrists to the NCAA Regional Championships during each of the past three seasons.
- MACFA Place winners: Kadan Lottick (third place; epee), David Parker (fifth place; sabre)
- NCAA Regional Qualifiers: John Hare (13th; sabre), Nicholas Conroy (26th; sabre), David Parker (29th; sabre), Kadan Lottick (30th; epee), Jack Leighninger (30th; foil)
- Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year: Gabriel Braun
- CoSIDA All-District At-Large Team: Gabriel Braun
Looking ahead: The Fords graduate two seniors from the 2018-19 team in David Parker and Gabriel Braun. Parker capped his career as a four-time regional qualifier in sabre while Braun was a three-time qualifier in sabre before the co-captain switched to the epee squad during the final semester of his collegiate fencing career to benefit the team. Even with those losses to graduation, the Fords will still have plenty of talent returning as the rising senior class has found tremendous success throughout the past three seasons. 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 this spring. Hare was also a MACFA silver medalist during his sabre's championship season in 2017. The Fords' fourth senior, Yan Yan Xie, did advance to the regional finals in foil during the 2016-17 season. Nicholas Conroy was the breakout star from the first-year class as he advanced to regionals for the sabre squad. Rising juniors Carter Langen and Alton Wiggersalso notched impressive wins throughout their foil seasons while classmates Raynor Bond-Ashpole (epee) and Kagan Harris (sabre) also return alongside rising sophomore Adrian Velonis. Wiggers was a regional qualifier during the 2018 championships.
2018-19 Season Outlook
The Haverford College men's fencing team will opens its 2018-19 season this Sunday, October 28 at the annual Temple Open. The Fords will feature a deep team this coming winter as seven of the team's regional qualifiers from last year return to fold for the 2018-19 season. Haverford is coming off of a fourth place finish at the MACFA Championships after winning 23 team bouts during regular season for the squad's highest total since the 2011 MACFA Championship team.
Perhaps no weapon squad better exemplifies the Fords' depth than sabre where the team returns each of its three members from the 2017 MACFA Squad Championship. After coming up just short of a repeat last year, the Fords' sabrists appear well positioned for another run at the squad championship this season. John Hare was a runner-up at the 2017 MACFA Championships before placing fifth last spring. He is a two-time regional qualifier entering his junior season and is coming off a career-best 15th place finish at the regional meet. Co-captain Gabriel Braun and fellow senior David Parker will bring the veteran leadership to the squad as both fencers are already three-time regional qualifiers.
Braun earned a MACFA bronze medal in 2016 on his way to being named Haverford's Archibald MacIntosh 1921 Award recipient for the top scholar-athlete in the first year class. He has been named to the Philadelphia InquirerAcademic All-Area selection each of the past two seasons and was named to the CoSIDA At-Large All-District team for the first time in his career as a junior. The 2017 Team MVP, Parker turned in his best performance at an NCAA Regional meet in 2016 as he placed 18th. He will look to bookend his career with an even stronger showing this year. Kagan Harris added valuable experience to the sabre squad last year with impressive showings at Vassar, the Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational, and Drew, among many others. He will look to continue his ascent during his sophomore campaign. Senior Henry Li also rejoins the sabre squad after a making huge strides during his sophomore season.
Returning Team MVP Yan Yan Xie headlines a foil squad which also returns three regional qualifiers. Now a junior, Xie was a regional finalist during his rookie campaign and won a MACFA bronze medal last year. Classmate Jack Leighninger adds another two-year regional qualifier to Haverford's foil lineup. Leighninger finished a career-best 23rd at the regional meet during his sophomore campaign. Alton Wiggers also qualified to regional championships during his first year with the Fords, placing 28th. Carter Langen excelled as another strong option for the foilists at the Vassar and Drew Invitationals as a rookie. First year Nicholas Conroy joins the talented foil squad looking to make a similar impact that his squadmates have made in their short time at Haverford.
Junior co-captain Kadan Lottick is Haverford's returning regional qualifier to the epee squad. Lottick is coming off a bronze medal at the MACFA Championships and back-to-back regional appearances from his sophomore season. The Fords' 2018 Rookie of the Year, Adrian Ballard, and fellow classmate Raynor Bond-Ashpole will look to continue their progression this year. Ballard displayed some of his strongest fencing during the MACFA Championship portion of the season with eight wins during the "A" vs. "C" bouts. Bond-Ashpole excelled with six wins at Vassar, along with another three victories during Drew's Holiday Invite. With just four epeeists, first year Adrian Velonis should have plenty of chances to bolster that weapon squad throughout the winter months.
With a very similar schedule to year's past, men's fencing will host its annual Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational on Saturday, November 17. The Fords will compete in seven different meets, including the always-challenging Penn State and Philadelphia Invitationals, before MACFA Championship season gets underway in mid-February.