EASTON, Pa. – The Haverford College women's fencing team sent six qualifiers to the NCAA Regional Championships over the weekend at Lafayette. Fencing at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, which is widely considered the toughest of the four regions, the Fords were represented by their largest contingent since the 2016 championship when the team also had six qualifiers. The last time Haverford sent more than six qualifiers to regionals came with seven qualifiers during the 2013-14 campaign.
First-year Sarah Blossom led the Fords with a 24th place showing as she was one of three Haverford epeeists in the field. Blossom started her day with a 3-2 record to earn advancement into the top 24. She soundly vanquished foes from Johns Hopkins, NJIT, and Temple, while dropping a 5-4 decision to Lafayette. However, Blossom's regional run came to a close just one round later as she found herself in a pool with four other Division I fencers. She gave opponents from Duke and Temple all they could handle in 5-4 setbacks before wrapping up her stellar rookie campaign.
Including Blossom, Haverford qualified three epeeists to the regional field on the women's side for the first time since 2011-12. Katie Bradley and Maia Carvalho boosted that weapon squad with respective 29th and 34th place finishes. Bradley, a junior who was making her third straight regional appearance, defeated the only other Division III fencer in her opening pool and also notched a win against Penn but could not find a needed third victory to earn advancement to the top 24. Carvalho defeated her opponent from Wagner during her regional debut in a pool that featured four fencers from Division I programs.
The Fords' foil squad was represented by Hanna Kopits (25th) and Golda Glasser (35th), marking the first time since the 2016 championship that Haverford qualified multiple foilists. Sophomore sensation Kopits was making her second straight regional appearance and secured wins against Drew and Penn. However, narrow 5-4 defeats against Stevens and North Carolina proved costly as reversing either of those results would have sent her into the top 24. Glasser also fell in a 5-4 bout to Stevens during the toughest battle of her regional debut as a first-year.
Senior Emily Brown made her third regional appearance as she represented the sabre squad. Brown collected touches during each of her five bouts, four of which came against Division I opposition, before she concluded her collegiate fencing career with a 34th place finish.
Saturday's regional championship brought a close to the 2018-19 season for the Haverford fencers. However, there is certainly reason for continued optimism moving forward as five of the team's six regional qualifiers return to the 2019-20 squad. That group of returnees includes three first-years, one sophomore, and one junior from this year's team to give the Fords a talented core for many seasons to come.