For Penn fencing, the Philadelphia Invitational went as well as expected.
While not the toughest pool of competition, the men’s team started off the weekend strong going 26-1 against Drew University. Never letting up, Penn fencing finished the day 5-0, beating Haverford, Sacred Heart and NJIT, Duke and Lafayette handily.
As commanding as the Penn men were, it appeared at times that the Quakers took its foot off of the gas against their outmatched opponents, giving up touches and bouts they should have won. Mental lapses like those could hurt against stronger, more worthy opponents.
“The boys did very well, much better than in the past two years” Coach Andy Ma said. “But of course, yesterday we weren’t facing very strong teams. Next weekend will be a real test of strength.”
The men will have time to correct these minor problems as Ivy Championships is two weeks away, where they will be facing much stronger opponents. But the Quakers are up for the challenge.
“If we have a good day we will be number one,” Ma said. “A decent day, either number two or three, we’re ready to win but it all depends on that day.”
While the men’s team cruised its way to victory, as the women’s team did at the Penn State Invitational, the women’s team found themselves on the losing side against Northwestern and Temple.
The Wildcats snuck by the Quakers in a matchup that came down to the wire as the Red and Blue fell in a 14-13 defeat. They followed it up with a defeat vs. Temple, 16-11.
“I would say today wasn’t our strongest event.” Junior Sarah Parmack said. “We’re going to need to focus going into two really hard events we have coming up in the next two weeks. We’ve got to practice harder, we’ve lightened up on practice recently”
However, the Red and Blue were able to put together some solid efforts, defeating Sacred Heart, Lafayette and Duke fairly easily.
With such dominating performances for both the men’s and women’s squads this weekend and all season, the Red and Blue still have their toughest fencing to come. Next weekend at the Northwestern Invitational will push the Quakers as they prepare for the Ivy Championships.