PHILADELPHIA – The Haverford College women's fencing team opened its season at the 36th annual Temple Fencing Open this past Saturday inside the Liacouras Center at Temple University. The men's schedule of events followed the next day on Sunday, November 1. Competing in an individual, direct elimination format event, the Temple Open is one of the largest collegiate events in the country.
A strong force of freshmen represented the Fords at the signature opening fencing event for the Mid- Atlantic Region, joining their veteran teammates in taking on opponents from North Carolina, Penn State, New York University and Florida, among others.
Senior co-captain Leila Braun led all Haverford finishers with fifth place in the individual epee competition. Braun, formerly the Ford's ace foil fencer and EWFC all-star in that weapon, has switched weapons her senior year, only to knock her co-captain, Julie Petersen, out of the tournament. Braun went on to a hard-fought loss to the eventual champion, Victoria Wines from Cornell.
Ironically, it was Petersen that had previously experienced success against Wines. Petersen defeated Wines during her appearance at the 2014 NCAA Regional Championship Final Round. At the Temple Open, Petersen finished 13th, while sophomore Lauren Pronger placed 64th in the 86-person field.
Braun's former foil teammates, Alexandra Morrison and Amira Abujbara, placed 35th and 54th respectively in the foil competition. In sabre, freshman sensation Anna Neuheardt led the Fords with a strong 13th place finish. Freshman Elizabeth Parente was 41st, while sophomore Amanda Soled showed great improvement with a 42nd place showing. Senior Elisabeth Hawthorne was 48th overall and freshman Emily Brown was 57th.
Women's fencing will have the upcoming weekend away from competition, but will return to the strips on Sunday, November 15 at the Vassar Invitational in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Both the men's and women's fencing teams will be in action on the same day at that event.