Though Penn failed to capture the 2011 Ivy League title, there is still a chance for the fencers to win a different crown.
This past weekend, the men’s and women’s fencing teams competed in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional at Drew University. The Regional is held to determine who qualifies for the NCAA championships, which take place March 24-27 in Columbus, Ohio.
Led by senior captain Jacob Wischnia and sophomore Evan Prochniak, an honorable mention All-America selection last year, five fencers qualified for NCAAs in all three weapons.
On the women’s side, junior Dominika Franciszkowicz, sophomore Amrit Bhinder and freshman Gabby Foor all qualified for the championships by finishing in the top six of their respective weapons. Senior Danielle Kamis may receive an at-large bid to compete, pending a decision Tuesday.
With eight Quakers qualified, coach Andy Ma is happy with the end result.
“We performed quite well at the regionals,” Ma said. “Each fencer who qualified certainly deserves it because of how hard they worked this year.”
Freshman Mike Mills, a sabre, said that focusing was the key to victories.
“Since the format of the tournament is different from usual, the coaching staff stressed the importance of staying focused and ready throughout every round of pools,” Mills said.
Penn finished eighth overall as a team last year and is looking to better that number.
“Because we have only ten days to prepare, we will be working very hard,” Ma said. “Our main objectives are to focus on strategy and technique — two fundamentals that have helped us succeed all season.”