After both the men’s and women’s teams won all five of their matches last year at the Brandeis/MIT Eric Sollee Invitational, Penn fencing is hoping for a repeat performance.
The Quakers will kick off the tournament tomorrow in Waltham, Mass.
Last year, both teams ended the day with victories over Yeshiva, NYU, Boston College and Brandeis. This year, the 10-team field includes Boston College, Brandeis, Duke, Harvard, Haverford, MIT, NYU, Penn, Princeton and Yeshiva.
“The most important thing is your first bout of the day,” said junior captain Danielle Kamis. “No one wants to be first, but ready to go get them. Then you have a little bit of an advantage there.”
According to Kamis, the teams that pose the biggest threat for the women (6-3) are MIT (9-8) and Brandeis (3-1).
“But we should do well,” she concluded optimistically.
Meanwhile, the men’s team (7-1) enters the weekend coming off its only loss this season against Penn State.
To ensure a win tomorrow, Penn is “taking it one meet at a time,” according to senior captain Jonathan Berkowsky.
“We have a strong foundation so we’ll go strong from the get-go and make a few adjustments as necessary,” the sabre added.
Both Berkowsky and head coach Andy Ma agree that the team’s biggest threat is NYU (4-9). However, the Quakers got the best of the Violets at the tournament last year.
And Ma, who trained Kamis and Berkowsky when the two were younger, has a personal stake in their success.
“They’re the best, they’re the team captains, and they put the whole team together,” he said.
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