Super Bowl Sunday has nothing on Penn fencing’s weekend.
The Red and Blue travelled to Evanston, Ill. on Saturday to compete in the Northwestern Duals. In a marathon meet, the Quakers held their own against a variety of the strongest collegiate fencing teams in the nation.
The women’s side faced off with six teams including Air Force, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, San Diego, and Cal Tech, picking up four wins and falling only to Northwestern and Notre Dame. It was the second time this season that the Red and Blue faced off with the hosts, having also lost to the Wildcats in November.
Notre Dame and Northwestern are ranked first and second in the country, respectively, so the Quakers certainly weren't tripped up by easy competition.
The men had an equally difficult load, facing off with six teams including Air Force, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cal Tech, and Stanford, falling only to the Cardinal. It was the team's second time facing Ohio State and Notre Dame this season. The Quakers fell to the Fighting Irish earlier in the season at the Elite Invitational in November, but reversed their fate this weekend.
Relative to last year, which ended with a first-place finish at the Ivy League Championships, the women’s team has struggled to come out on top for a series of close matches this season. Of the group's 11 season losses, four have been by a one point margin.
The issue has not extended to their Ivy League competitors, however, as the Quakers have put up early season wins against Columbia, Brown, and Yale throughout the past three weeks.
The men have had less success in Ivy play, as they lost to Columbia in January and Yale last weekend in a tight 14-13 match. They will look to capitalize on their momentum from this weekend when they get a second chance with the rest of the League.
Both Penn teams are currently ranked No. 9 as they head into the Ivy League Championships next weekend in New Haven, Conn.