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2017-18 Season Review

Season overview: The 2017-18 season saw the Haverford College women's fencing team take many giant steps forward. That steady improvement throughout the year resulted in 16 team victories for the program's most since the 2013-14 season. Haverford matched its fifth-place showing from the EWFC Championships during the 2017 season and saw a two spot improvement in its final NIWFA standings as the Fords were seventh overall.

The Fords began the season with thrilling finishes during a 5-2 weekend at the Vassar Invitational. Haverford only gained momentum as the season went along with second place results at both the Dan Arnstein '09 and Drew Holiday Invitationals. The second half of the season saw several individuals break into the spotlight. The Fords had three fencers earn All-EWFC honors as first year Hanna Kopits took home first-team accolades, while Katie Bradley and Anna Neuheardt were both second-team honorees. Kopits backed up that strong showing at the EWFC Championship with NIWFA All-Star status. The Fords capped the season with four fencers qualifying to the strongest regional in the entire NCAA, the Mid-Atlantic/South Region.

Season Notes: Haverford's 16 team victories were the most since the 2013-14 season … To help the Fords finish two spots higher than a season ago at the NIWFA Championships, foil had a five spot improvement during that weekend … Haverford's sabrists also climbed three spots in the final NIWFA results … Hanna Kopits was defeated only by the EWFC Foil Fencer of the Year and placed third at the EWFC Championship for the Fords' highest individual foil finish since Rupinder Garcha '13 was second during her first year at Haverford … Katie Bradley earned her first career EWFC All-Star status with a sixth-place finish … Anna Neuheardt is now a two-time EWFC All-Star after placing ninth this season … Neuheardt is just the second sabrist to earn all-star status at this championship in program history (Francesca Behling '13) … Hanna Kopits placed fifth at the NIWFA Championships for Haverford's highest foil placement since Katie Elbert '14 took fourth during her senior season … Sabrists Anna Neuheardt and Alexandra Morrison both earned their highest placements at the NCAA regional of their entire career with respective 21st and 27th place showings.

Honors/Awards

Looking ahead: With all the success the Fords experienced during the 2017-18 season, the Fords were a relatively young team. Although Haverford will lose co-captains Alexandra Morrison and Amanda Soled to graduation, along with classmate Lauren Pronger, the Fords will return each of their three EWFC All-Stars from this season. Hanna Kopits certainly made her mark on the program after just one season and will look for even more success in the coming years. Junior Anna Neuheardt and Katie Bradley have also qualified for the NCAA regionals during each of their seasons with the Fords. Although she just missed qualification this spring, Emily Brown is also a two-time NCAA regional qualifier for the Fords in sabre. Eight of Haverford's 13 fencers this year were either first year students or sophomores at Haverford, leaving the team with plenty of talent for the foreseeable future.

 

2017-18 Season Outlook

The Haverford College women's fencing team has added a slew of strong first years, and looks to be fielding its deepest and strongest team in several years. The capable leadership of co-captains Amanda Soled (epee) and Alexandra Morrison (foil) will lead the talented underclassmen as the team seeks its first conference championship since the 2014 NIWFA Division III Team Championship award.

Joining Soled on the epee squad will be senior Lauren Pronger, sophomore Katie Bradley – who turned heads last season as she went from PE class beginner to NCAA regional qualifier – and two promising first years, Valentina Zavala-Albelaez and Claire Cai. Morrison's foil squad has ace recruits Hanna Kopits and Jia-Ming Tuan, putting both of these squads in position for their strongest showings since the 2014 championship season. Top returning sabriste Anna Neuheardt, a two-time all-conference performer who has also notched several victories against Division I Penn State, is joined by returning sophomore Ayesha Bhikha and returning junior Emily Brown. The sabre squad has been tirelessly working since last year to improve its skills on the strips. First years Mingxuan Zhang and Krystal Li will also bolster the sabre squad.

With multiple individuals who possess the talent to make the finals of both the Temple Open and the eventual NCAA Regional, along with several potential all-conference fencers, the team looks to start strong out of the gate during the opening tournament. The Vassar Invitational and Dan Arnstein '09 D'Arnstein will provide plenty of opportunities for fencers to continue to build on their skills before the first semester wraps up with a new addition to the schedule at Drew during December.

Tradition continues with the Penn State Invitational kicking off Winter Training Camp with tough opponents throughout the day. Strong tournaments at the University of Pennsylvania and Brandeis lead into the EWFC Championships. With potential NIWFA medalists and regional finalists in all three weapons, the Fords appear primed to have one of their strongest seasons in recent years.