PHILADELPHIA – The Haverford College women's fencing team got the 2018-19 season off to a strong start with eight different fencers advancing to the direct elimination bouts at the Temple Open on Saturday. Among those advancing fencers, Katie Bradley led all Haverford individuals with a 16th place showing in epee.
Bradley headlined an epee squad which qualified each of its four fencers into the direct elimination bouts. Three from that grouping won direct elimination bouts once they were drawn into the bracket. Bradley entered the elimination bouts seeded 38th after winning four bouts during the seeding rounds. However, she pulled out a pair of thrilling 15-14 victories against Johns Hopkins' Shivani Bisen and Steven's sixth-seeded Amanda Choy to advance to the Round of 16. Bradley's day came up just shy of the quarterfinals with a defeat at the hands of NJIT as she placed 16th
Fellow epeeists Maia Carvalho and Sarah Blossom also advanced to the Round of 32 in their collegiate debuts. Carvalho won five of her nine seeding bouts and defeated Rutgers' Courtney Le by a 15-6 count in the first elimination round before falling to Camille Simmons of host Temple in a hard-fought 15-12 bout. She placed 20th overall. Blossom won three seeding bouts and pulled through with a tough-fought 15-14 victory against Florida's Alicia Lores in the first round of direct elimination. She was defeated by Penn State's eventual quarterfinalist in the next round but finished her day in 29th place. Sophomore Claire Cai placed 36th overall after she won three seeding bouts to reach the direct elimination rounds before also falling to the host Owls.
Foil sent both of its entrants into the direct elimination bouts. Hanna Kopits placed 24th to pace that squad. She went 5-3 in seeding bouts and easily dispatched of Bryn Mawr's Niahm Reilly in the first elimination round. Kopits' day came to a close with a heartbreaking 15-14 defeat against ninth-seeded Paloma Almovdar of NJIT. Classmate Jia-Ming Tuan won two seeding bouts, but came out on the wrong side of 15-14 direct elimination bout against Stevens to finish in 39th place.
Seniors Emily Brown and Anna Neuheardt both represented Haverford in the direct elimination bouts of the sabre draw. Brown won two seeding bouts and was credited with a 40th place finish. Co-captain Neuheardt went 3-2 during her first round of seeding bouts. Her day ended with a 45th place showing after a tough 15-12 bout during the first elimination round that went to her opponent from Stevens. Maria Yea finished 51st overall in her collegiate debut. Although just missing the cut for direct elimination, Yea rebounded nicely with wins over Tri-Co fencers from Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore during the consolation rounds.
Women's fencing has the upcoming weekend away from competition. When the Fords do return to the strips on Sunday, November 11, it will be for the Fords' first team competition of the season as they travel to New York for the Vassar Invitational. Fencing that day is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m.