Penn men’s and women’s fencing is off to compete against some of the best teams in the league.
This weekend, the Penn State Open will serve as a benchmark for where each individual on the team stands at this point in the season.
The Red and Blue’s preparation for the tournament has largely been consistent with their approach for their previous, season-opening meet. Heading into the tournament, they have been focusing on conditioning, foot and legwork, injury prevention and a lot of strategy.
“This week we’re keeping things easy, trying to get some rest for the weekend, but keep it intense enough so we’re still working,” senior foil and captain Jason Chang said.
Though preseason is a time when the team does not see much competition, coach Andy Ma has attempted to keep the squad’s spirits up with duals and bouts.
Penn State, who won the NCAA Championship last year, will be hosting the tournament, with other winning teams such as Ohio State, Notre Dame and Princeton in attendance.
At the Ohio State University Invitational this past weekend, the women’s team showed its strength as it won all but one of its duals. They Quakers are in good shape, but the squad will need to put in even more effort as they go against the Irish, who have been killing the game so far.
The men’s team, however, has not been as fortunate. After losing duals against Princeton, Notre Dame and OSU, the Quakers will need to get their head in the game and focus for the tournament this Sunday.
Ma is very optimistic on how the team will contend this Sunday.
“This week, the team spirit is very well,” Ma said. “There will be less nerves, and we will be better for the next tournament.”
The team members are helping out to keep up the team spirit.
“We really want to motivate each other,” Chang said. “So that we work hard in tough situations … and pull through with a victory no matter how tough the opponent.”
So, will the Penn women’s team continue to dominate? Will the men’s team redeem themselves? We will find out after the Penn State Open this Sunday.
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