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Fencing may not draw the same crowds as the men’s hoops squad, but that does not mean the Red and Blue aren’t looking forward to playing at home.

The Quakers will host the Philadelphia Invitational Saturday for their first official tournament of the season.

Though fencing is not known for large crowds and raucous fans, the advantage of hosting a tournament at Hutchinson Gymnasium will still have tangible benefits.

“The fact that you don’t have to travel far definitely helps, and possibly having your classmates and friends come out and support you is great as well ­— really just like any other sport,” junior Zane Grodman said.

Players will be more relaxed and will have their only opportunity of the season to compete in front of classmates, fellow Penn athletes, friends and family members.

According to head coach Andy Ma, “it will help because we are familiar with the surroundings and always feel comfortable fencing at home.”

The home advantage also means that the entire men’s team will be able to compete.

“With everyone involved, I definitely think it will raise our team morale and spirit,” Ma said.

Sophomore Evan Prochniak echoed Ma’s sentiment and said he sees this tournament as a stepping-stone to next weekend’s Penn State Invitational.

“This tournament we fence some good teams, but I know [that] the sabre guys and I are looking forward to next week … We want to do well this weekend so we can hopefully beat Penn State,” Prochniak said.

But before the Quakers can take on their in-state rival, they’ll have to win at home first.

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