It was a mixed day for Penn men's and women's fencing in their final invitational of the regular season.
The Red and Blue spent last Sunday at the Temple Invitational, with the women posting a 3-2 record and the men going 2-3. The meet was both teams' last before their three-day training camp that prepares them for the NCAA Regionals and Championships.
The invitational saw the both sides face some of the nation's best teams. Both squads faced Johns Hopkins, Penn State, St. John's, and Princeton, with the men also fencing Stevens and the women up against host Temple.
The women won their matches against the Blue Jays (17-10), Nittany Lions, and Red Storm (both 16-11) before losing to the Owls, 17-10. Against the Blue Jays, the Quakers came out on top in each weapon category. In round two, the Red and Blue women took the sabre and the foil, which was good enough to win the match despite losing in epee. After a setback against Temple, Penn rallied against St. John's in its final match, winning the sabre and the epee en route to its third victory of the day.
Highlighting the weekend for the women was freshman Chloe Daniel, who recently captured the individual epee title at the Ivy League Championships. Fellow freshman Madeline Adams-Kim also had an impressive weekend, going 9-4 overall.
In their first match of the day, the men defeated Johns Hopkins (16-3) 14-13, winning in sabre and foil before losing the epee. Senior sabre Adam Greene and junior sabre Andrew Sun each won the three matches they competed in against the Blue Jays.
In its second matchup, the men's team competed against Penn State and lost 16-11, winning only in the foil. Next, the men faced the Red Storm and won the epee before losing 15-12. After dropping these two matchups, the Red and Blue beat Stevens 20-7. Finally, the Quakers lost to Princeton 20-7 to close out their competition.
While the regular season may be over for the Red and Blue, there is still competition remaining for Penn. Unlike the Ivy League Championships that the team competed in earlier this month, the NCAA Regionals and Championships will be based more on individual performances. Coach Ma knows that the team will be working hard on their individual skills while also keeping a team mentality over the next few weeks.
“The main focus right now is one-on-one, more individualized,” Ma said. “[We will] focus on individual lessons, technique, mental preparation, and how to play [to] your strengths.”
Even though the rest of the season will be about honing individual talent, it is important for the team to have a team mindset. Supporting each other as a team will be crucial to their success through the rest of their season.
“We always keep the team spirit and team mentality through the individual,” Ma said.
The Red and Blue will now move toward preparing for the NCAA Regionals and Championships, which take place on Mar. 7, and from Mar. 19-22, respectively. This year, the training camp and Regionals are being held before spring break, and the Quakers will come back from the break to compete in the NCAA Championships.
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