PHILADELPHIA – The Haverford College women's fencing team got its season underway over the weekend at the Temple Open. With an insurgence of new talent, coupled with returning veterans, the Fords showed great promise for what the 2017-18 season could have in store.
Haverford foilists provided the strongest weapon squad and highest individual finisher on Saturday as first year Hanna Kopits placed 18th overall. In total, Haverford put three of its foil fencers in the Table of 32. Kopits went a combined 7-2 during her first two rounds of seeding to earn a bye into the round of 32 where she fell to Annalena Shgihara of rival NJIT. Co-captain Alexandra Morrison got her season off to a strong start. The senior went 6-2 in seeding bouts and won a direct elimination bout before a 15-12 defeat to Penn State's Sofia McGoff. Morrison finished 21st overall in her season debut.
Sophomore Zuyi Wang was Haverford's third foilist to make the Table of 32 at the Temple Open. Wang evenly split her first eight bouts of seeding, but picked up a 15-8 victory over Florida's Regan Foote in the first round of direct elimination. Her tournament came to an end with a 26th place finish following a defeat to runner-up Kair Weiner of host Temple. First year, Jia-Ming Tuan also started out strong in her collegiate debut. She used a 4-1 record in the first round of seeding to place 37th in the individual standings.
The Fords also entered four epeeists into the season's first competition. Katie Bradley continued to establish herself as the Fords' "A" epeeist with her team-best 25th place finish. She went 5-3 in seeding bouts before a 15-6 win over her Bi-Co opponent Myra Nguyen in the Table of 64 round. Her wins in seeding included a 5-4 victory over Temple's eventual 12th place finisher, Ally Micek. She also fell by a tight 5-4 score against Penn State's Nicolette Vigna.
First year Valentina Zavala-Arbelaez collected four wins in seeding to place 36th in the field after dropping a hard-fought 15-10 bout against Florida to start direct elimination. Claire Cai and co-captain Amanda Soled placed 61st and 68th, respectively. Both came back strong through the consolations with Soled collecting a 5-1 record in those bouts while first year Cai won two such bouts to finish her day with three total victories.
Haverford's sabrists featured just two entrants as Emily Brown finished in a tie for 39th and Ayesha Bhikha placed 45th. Both fencers made the direct elimination Table of 64 with a win in the seeding bouts before falling to higher-seeded opposition.
Women's fencing will return to action on next Sunday, November 12 with the Vassar Invitational. After competing solely as individuals this past weekend, Vassar will provide the Fords their first competition in a team setting. With both the men's and women's teams in action that day, fencing will get underway at 10 a.m. in Poughkeepsie, New York.