PHILADELPHIA - The eighth-ranked Penn women's fencing team opens its 2011 season at Temple, as the Owls host the women's side of the Philadelphia Invitational Sunday morning, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The Quakers are one of 12 teams taking part in the tournament and face six opponents on the day. The Red and Blue match up against No. 3 Northwestern as well as North Carolina, Duke, Haverford, Farleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart.
The Red and Blue are led by a strong group of upperclassmen, headlined by Danielle Kamis, Laura Paragano, Stephanie Wheeler, and Dominika Franciszkowicz. Kamis won a team-high 47 dual bouts last year in sabre while Paragano was second with 44 in foil. Wheeler finished with a 32-14 record and Franciszkowicz won 37 a year ago. Franciszkowicz, Kamis and Wheeler also reached the NCAA Championships last year with Franciszkowicz earning her second All-America selection.
The Quakers also expect to get some help from their freshman. First-year Gabby Foor fenced her way to a seventh-place finish in epee at the Penn State Open during the fall, while fellow classmate Wendy Zhao also made an impression. Fencing in foil, Zhao finished in 18th out of over 60 competitors, including some of the nation's finest.
Last year Penn hosted the event and won four of its six matches. The Quakers recorded over 20 in three victories and also had a 15-13 win over Duke. The team's only losses on the day came by matching 16-11 margins to Northwestern and Temple. Kamis went 14-4 last year while Wheeler was equally impressive, finishing with an 11-1 mark on the day.