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2018-19 Season Review

Season overview: The 2018-19 season witnessed the Haverford College women's fencing team show great progress throughout the year, highlighted by multiple individual breakout stars. That steady progress ultimately led the Fords to a fifth-place finish at the EWFC Championships, matching its performance from a season ago. Haverford also qualified six fencers to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, considered by many to be the toughest regional at the college level. Championship season began with three All-EWFC fencers for the team as Hanna Kopits (first-team foil), Katie Bradley (second-team epee), and Maia Carvalho (second-team epee) were all peaking as the postseason got underway.

Season Notes: Sophomore Hanna Kopits and junior Katie Bradley are now two-time EWFC All-Stars during their careers, while Maia Carvalho earned EWFC All-Star status during her rookie season … Kopits is the first foil fencer in Haverford history to earn first-team All-EWFC honors twice during her career and she still has two more seasons to add to her resume … Haverford's two All-EWFC performances in epee (Bradley and Carvalho) marked the most for the Fords' epeeists since Julie Petersen '16 and Sarah Sofia '14 during the 2013 season … The Fords qualified three epeeists to the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time since the 2011-12 season … Not taking a backseat to her epee squadmates, Sarah Blossom was Haverford's highest finisher at the regional meet with a 24th place showing … Haverford also qualified two foilists to the regional championship for the first time since 2016 while Emily Brown represented the sabre squad in her third straight appearance at regionals.

Awards/Honors

Looking ahead: Senior sabrists and three-time NCAA Regional qualifiers Emily Brown and Anna Neuheardt will graduate from Haverford this spring, but have left quite of legacy behind them. Neuheardt was also an EWFC and NIWFA All-Star throughout her career before injuries cut her senior season short. Nevertheless, she was an inspirational leader for the team and left a standard of women's fencing at Haverford that will carry forward for many years to come. Each of Haverford's three regional qualifiers in epee (Blossom, Bradley, and Carvalho) return to next year's team. Claire Cai was also in the mix for regionals and provides a fourth option for one of Haverford's deepest weapon squads. Bradley will provide the senior leadership while Blossom and Carvalho found immediate success during their first-years at Haverford. Hanna Kopits leads the foil squad which will continue to feature veterans Jia-Ming Tuan and Zuyi Wang, along with rising sophomore Golda Glasser. The sabre squad will have a new look next year with Haverford's two graduation losses, but Macy BrooksSofia Nicolayevsky, and Maria Yea all showed great potential for the future and have three seasons remaining with the team.

 

2018-19 Season Outlook

With a young team that is looking to carry on the rich tradition of Haverford College women's fencing, the Fords will mix eight key returners with five incoming first years for the 2018-19 season. Haverford improved its team placement by two spots at the NIWFA Championships and held its fifth place position in the EWFC Championships last year. The Fords will hope this year's combination of veteran and incoming skill will lead the team to even greater heights this season.

Now a sophomore, Hanna Kopits was the team's breakout star as she earned first-team All-EWFC and second-team All-NIWFA honors for the foilists last winter. She excelled against all comers, capped by a team-best 25th place showing at the NCAA Regional. Leading the charge, Kopits helped a foil squad that will return each of its three fencers from the postseason last year. That trio helped Haverford's foil squad climb five spots at the NIWFA Championships from the previous season, placing a team-best fifth overall.

Classmate Jia-Ming Tuan was also a steadying force in the foil lineup last year, with strong showings throughout the year that were highlighted by her performances at Vassar, Drew, and the EWFC Championships. Also returning to the foil squad following her semester abroad this fall will be co-captain Zuyi Wang. Wang fenced the team's "B" slot at the NIWFA Championships and placed 10th individually at the EWFC Championships. With Wang abroad during the first semester, first year Golda Glasser will have a chance to make an immediate impact on the Fords, while classmate Sofia Nicolayevsky will spend time fencing both foil and sabre.

Haverford's sabre squad is where the team's senior leadership will be on full display with three-time regional qualifier and co-captain Anna Neuheardt joining classmate and two-time regional qualifier Emily Brown. The sabrists improved their NIWFA standing by three positions last spring, with Neuheardt earning second-team All-EWFC honors for the third time in her decorated career. Neuheardt has been named Haverford's Team MVP during each of the past two seasons and has improved her regional finish in each successive season. She placed 21st at the 2018 regional championship meet. Brown was a 13th place finisher at the 2017 NIWFA Championships. In addition to Nicolayevsky splitting time between foil and sabre, first year Maria Yea will also have a chance to make an immediate impact for the sabre squad.

Haverford's epee is led by junior Katie Bradley. Picking up fencing for the first time during her first year at Haverford, Bradley's skills have quickly developed as she is already a two-time regional qualifier who earned second-team All-EWFC accolades in 2018. Sophomores Claire Cai and Valentina Zavala-Arbelaez also return for the epeeists. Cai delivered her signature performances at Vassar, the Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational, and the Drew Holiday Invitational last winter. Zavala-Arbelaez fenced the "C" slot at the NIWFA Championships and went 8-4 during EWFC Championship during her rookie campaign. Newcomers Sarah Blossom and Maia Carvalho will be counted on immediately to add to a young, but talented squad.

Women's fencing opens its 2018-19 season this Saturday, October 27 at the Temple Open. With a familiar schedule to past seasons, the Fords will host the Dan Arnstein '09 Invitational on Saturday, November 17. Championship season for the team gets underway in mid-February with the EWFC Championships slated for February 17.