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Penn women's fencing had a strong showing at the PSU Garrett Open with seven top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place finish by sophomore epee Vanessa Dib.

Credit: Yuran Liu

Penn men's and women's fencing both had individuals place in the top three this weekend in what was a strong showing for the Red and Blue.

This weekend, the Quakers stayed in state when they traveled to University Park, Pa. to compete in the PSU Garrett Open.

The story of the day was junior Michael Li’s run in the foil competition. After advancing to round three with relative ease, Li went 4-1 in that duel to advance to the round of 16, where he faced off against North Carolina sophomore Lucas Fernandez and won resoundingly by a score of 15-3.

Li’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches were closer, but he ultimately prevailed in both rounds by a score of 15-10, vaulting himself into a finals match against junior Sidarth Kumbla from Columbia.

Li's run would end there as he fell, 15-1, to Kumbla, and finished in second place, the top finish for both the Penn men and women during the competition.

Photo from Liz Musick

Freshman Julia Thompson was a bright spot for the women's team (3-1) on Saturday. After dominating the early rounds, she defeated teammate and freshman Grace Hao, 15-14, in the quarterfinals. Hao finished in eighth place, while Thompson ultimately lost in the semifinals, finishing tied for third place in the foil competition.

While Thompson placed highest on the team, other Quakers also performed well. In all the events combined, Penn had seven top-10 finishes.

The epee saw three Quakers place in the top 10, as sophomore Vanessa Dib finished in eighth place, freshman Chloe Daniel earned sixth, and freshman Madeline Adams-Kim placed fifth.

In the sabre, Penn had two top-10 finishes, with junior Miranda Gieg coming in eighth and freshman Amber White finishing her day in the fifth spot.  

The Quakers saw exceptional performances from some of their young fencers. Six out of the seven top-10 finishers are underclassmen, and five are freshmen. This is an encouraging sign for a team with a large crop of young athletes, who will have a chance to learn from these opportunities and grow as their collegiate careers continue.

The men’s team (3-3) competed on Sunday as the group looked to follow up a strong performance by the women with a solid showing of its own. The men’s best finish in the epee came from sophomore James Armstrong, who came in 11th place.

Senior Adam Green highlighted the men's sabre squad, making it into the quarterfinals before having to withdraw. With this performance, Green ended the competition in the seventh spot.

The Quakers will return to University Park in January for the Penn State Invitational, as they look to build upon their performance from this weekend's Garrett Open.