So goes the conclusion to Penn fencing’s team cheer. Perhaps an unusual way to bring the hype, but the Red and Blue are shaping up to be anything but ordinary this season.
The men’s team has shown substantial promise both on the world and collegiate stages. Two members of the squad — epee fencers sophomore Jake Raynis and freshman Justin Yu — are returning to the lineup this weekend after medaling at the World Cup. Fellow epee specialist and sophomore captain Zsombor Garzo is also coming off of a 16-2 match record at the Penn State Open last weekend. With this sort of momentum, the Quakers (10-1) are coming into this weekend’s home match at the Philadelphia Invitational feeling confident in what their team can accomplish.
“It’ll be good practice for us in preparation for Ivies. We have our home meet this weekend, and Northwestern next weekend, so we’ll be getting in good practice,” senior sabre captain Shaul Gordon said.
On the women’s side, the Quakers are expecting another strong performance out of junior Cassidy Seidl, who led Penn’s foil squad at last week’s Penn State Invitational. The Redmond, Wash. native finished 9-4 and posted a perfect seven wins in the points won by the Red and Blue.
Though the meet is not as competitive as last weekend’s Penn State Open, the team is ready to further hone its skills and encounter some teams who will be tougher to beat. Though competing teams like TCNJ and Haverford will pose less of a threat, strong programs from North Carolina and Duke will also be in attendance, ready for a rematch.
“We fenced both of them last weekend, and we won against both,” Gordon said of the Tar Heels and Blue Devils. “But we’re going to have to fight against them. We can’t just take it easy.”
Sophomore epee specialist Stephanie Wolf will look to repeat her dominant performance from last weekend, which included a 3-0 win over the Tar Heels and two wins against the always formidable Columbia.
The Quakers will have to keep up that sort of tenacity as they look towards the Ivy League championships, where they will face a powerhouse in No. 1 Columbia. Though Penn has momentum from the Penn State Open going into this weekend’s match and beyond, it remains aware of the tough tests ahead.
“We have to make sure we’re consistent. We beat Penn State last weekend, and they’re a great program, but if we can’t stay consistent, we’re not going to beat programs like Columbia,” Gordon said.
The team is also eager to show what it’s made of on its home turf. Though fencing is not traditionally a spectator sport, the extra excitement of a home crowd — albeit a small one — is not to be ignored. Garzo is particularly ready to fence in front of a home crowd.
“I’m really excited,” Garzo said. “Friends come out, and sometimes even professors do — I’m really excited to show them what Penn Fencing can do.”
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