The Penn women's fencing team will take its rivalry with Princeton to the next level this weekend when the Quakers welcome the Tigers and Temple to Weightman Gym on Sunday in one of the season's most anticipated showdowns. "Both teams are really strong, and we have problems with them every year -- especially Princeton," Penn captain Mindy Nguyen said. "At the beginning of the season, when we look ahead, we think, 'Oh, that's the Princeton meet. We've got to do well.'" Last year, the Quakers fell to both the Tigers and the Owls, and are naturally looking for a role reversal in this season's face-off. The loss to Temple was especially disappointing because the meet was decided by just one bout -- the Owls pulled out a 14-13 victory. "Both [Temple and Princeton] are very strong teams," Penn coach Dave Micahnik said. "They have improved themselves since last year, and they were tough last year. "But it is a new season, and the meet starts at 0-0, so you never know." While they recognize that their opponents this weekend are of the highest caliber, the Quakers are not about to count out the possibility of wins against both teams. "We have been working as hard as we can and we'll hit them with everything we have," Micahnik said. This year, the stakes are higher than ever, as the women's team will join a tradition long held by the Penn and Princeton men's fencing teams. For the past 50 years, the male Tigers and the Quakers have exchanged a dual meet trophy that is meant to recognize the spirit of rivalry and sportsmanship between the two teams. After the two arch-rivals face off in competition, the captain of the losing team presents the Beerstein trophy to the captain of the winning team. This year, for the first time, the Penn and Princeton women's fencing teams will have a similar trophy presentation at the end of their meet. The beginning of this tradition came at the request of fencers from both teams. "I personally would really like to see the trophy come home with us," Nguyen said. "There has always been a rivalry with Princeton because they are so strong. "We've come so close and seen it slip away every time so we really want it. And I think we have a really good chance."Comments powered by Disqus
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