Even though both Penn men’s and women’s fencing faced strong teams at the Philadelphia Invitational over the weekend, home court advantage ultimately won the day.
This past weekend, the Red and Blue fenced against a plethora of big-name teams, including Duke, Northwestern, Temple and UNC. The women’s team won four of five rounds, while the men’s team swept its six rounds in front of a home crowd at the Coach Dave Micahnik Fencing Center.
Women’s foil competed well at the start of the day, winning 10 duals consecutively. However, the streak ended when the squad fell to both Northwestern and Temple. Senior Luona Wang had the most wins (9-2) out of the Red and Blue women’s foil fencers, contributing significantly to the team’s overall score.
Men’s foil also fenced well, finishing off with a 40-14 record. Freshman performers Harry McGuire and John Vaiani led the way for the Quakers, finishing with 7-0 and 9-1 records, respectively.
For all the success that came from foil for the squads, however, sabre was ultimately the top weapon of the tournament for both teams.
Women’s sabre had a tough time getting going after a couple of close early bouts and three losses, with several individual matches being decided by only one point. However, the squad was able to pull it together, finishing with a 26-19 win.
The men’s sabre, on the other hand, had no trouble securing a team victory. Junior Shaul Gordon ended his bouts 9-0, while senior Sean Turner and sophomore Isaac Buchwald finished 8-1, adding to the team’s 44-10 record.
Women’s epee had a close final round, with just one point deciding the win. Sophomore Alejandra Trumble (12-1) saved the team from defeat when she won a round (5-3) and locked in a 14-13 win for Penn against UNC.
The Philadelphia Invitational marked the first time freshman epeeist Zsombor Garzo fenced competitively for the Red and Blue. Despite this, he fenced in every round and recorded more wins than any other Penn fencer. His victories helped the men’s epee secure a victory, 37-17.
Next weekend, the Red and Blue will travel to Evanston, Ill., to compete in the NU Duals hosted by Northwestern. This will be the last competition for the Quakers before Ivy play.
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