PHILADELPHIA It has been 75 days since the first competition of the 2007-08 season for Penn’s fencing teams, but to many, the “real” season commences on Sunday as both squads begin Ivy League play in the first of two round robins. All seven Ancient Eight schools that sponsor fencing will congregate in New Haven, Conn. to complete the first half of Ivy action. The Quakers will fence three time on Sunday vs. Yale (10 a.m.), Columbia (1:30 p.m.) and Harvard (3 p.m.).
On the men’s side, the top four teams in the conference are all evenly matched, holding the 5-8 spots in the latest USFCA polls. Columbia sits fifth, followed by Penn, Harvard and Princeton. The Lions and Crimson shared the 2007 Ivy title. Five men who earned All-American honors in 2007 will return to compete in ’08, including two first-team fencers in Penn’s Ron Berkowsky and Columbia’s Kurt Getz in foil. Other returning All-Americans include honorable mention fencers Andrew Bielen (Penn Sabre), Max Czapanskiy Columbia) and Edward Sherrill (Harvard, both of whom fence epee.
Looking at the women’s competition, seven All-Americans are back looking for a repeat of their stellar 2007 seasons. The list is highlighted by Columbia’s Emily Jacobsen a three-time first-team All-American, including a gold medal in sabre at the 2005 NCAA championships. Also returning is a second-team All-American in Penn’s Abby Emerson (foil). All five women who achieved honorable mention All-American are back as well Harvard’s Alexa Weingarden (sabre), Misha Goldfeder (foil) and Maria Larsson (epee) as well as Brown’s Randy Alevi (sabre) and Princeton’s Jocelyn Svengsouk (foil).
The Ivy League has put together a blog dedicated solely to fencing. It can be found by clicking here. The site will be updated throughout the day with results and other information.