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Junior Michael Li won all three of his bouts against Haverford, leading Penn to a 20-7 win in the opening match of the Philadelphia Invitational.

Credit: Tamara Wurman

At the second tournament of the year on home turf, the Quakers showed who owns the Tse Center.

Penn men’s and women’s fencing were back in action at the Tse Center this weekend, hosting the Philadelphia Invitational. Continuing their momentum from the Penn State Invitational the previous week, the men won 10-of-11 matches, while the women won 10-of-12.

Both the men and the women swept the first day of competition, with each team winning all six of their matches. 

The men opened the Invitational with a commanding 20-7 win over Haverford, led by the foil squad’s impressive 8-1 performance. Junior Michael Li and sophomore Jerry Wu pushed the Quakers over the top, as each won all three of their bouts against the Fords. 

In their second matchup, Duke proved to be formidable competition, but the Quakers ultimately edged the Blue Devils by a score of 14-13. A 6-3 victory provided by the sabre team offset a pair of 5-4 losses from the foil and epee, giving the men their second win. 

The Quakers continued to impress throughout Saturday, beating Johns Hopkins, NYU, and NJIT by scores of 16-11, 22-5, and 17-10, respectively. Their final match of the day brought an 18-9 victory against Sacred Heart. Notably, the sabre squad pulled off a 9-0 clean sweep of their round, as sophomore Xiteng Lin, junior Andrew Sun, and senior Adam Green came together to each win all three of their individual matches. 

The women’s team started off with a vengeance on Saturday, as proven by their opening 26-1 win over Haverford in which the epee and saber groups each swept all nine of their bouts. This winning momentum then spurred the Red and Blue to a 17-10 victory over Duke.

The women faced Cornell for the Quakers’ only Ivy League matchup of the Invitational. The epee squad, powered by the freshman trio of Jessica Liang, Chloe Daniel, and Madeline Adams-Kim, pulled off an 8-1 victory to edge Penn over the Big Red, 14-13.

The epee weapon group continued to shine on Saturday, helping the Quakers to a 19-8 win over NYU, followed by a pair of 24-3 victories against Sacred Heart and Wagner to complete the sweep of that day of competition. 

The men’s squad continued their hot streak Sunday morning against Wayne State with a score of 18-9, followed by a long-awaited victory against Ohio State, which had previously beaten the Quakers the last time they met at the Tse Center at the Elite Invitational in November. 

The Red and Blue continued with wins against Drew and Brandeis by scores of 17-10 and 19-8, respectively. 

“We try to keep a clear mindset,” Li said. “We don’t try to get too hyped up or too down, we just treat each match as our own individual match and take it seriously. Obviously it feels good to go on a winning streak and we’re pretty happy with our fencing, and I think that helped to amp us up a lot more for each match.”

Penn dropped the last match of the tournament to St. Johns, falling by a score of 17-10, ending their winning streak at 10. However, the team’s strong showing this weekend bodes well for the rest of the season as Ivy Championships approach.

“I think this is a great step towards winning Ivies,” Li said. “Obviously, we were trying to improve as a team, and I think that our performance this weekend really showed that we’ve gotten stronger.”

The women’s team started off strong on Sunday with a 23-4 victory against Wayne State, but their winning streak came to an end at seven with a pair of losses against Ohio State and Temple by respective scores of 16-11 and 14-13. 

The Quakers were able to rebound in their final three matches, handily beating Northwestern and St. John’s by a score of 14-13 and Brandeis by a score of 23-4.

Penn fencing will return to the strip on Feb. 1 in Waltham, Mass. for the Sollee Invitational and will look to continue their impressive performances.

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