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.