PHILADELPHIA – The postseason has officially arrived for the University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s fencing teams, as the Quakers will travel to Cornell this weekend to compete in the 2016 Ivy League Championships.
The Round Robins, which will be held at Barton Hall, will commence on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the first four rounds of competition. The championships will continue on Sunday with the final three bouts, beginning at 10 a.m.
Columbia, which notched at least a share of the Ivy title on both sides last season, comes in as the top-ranked team in the nation for both the men and women. The Quakers (15-1) come in as the second-highest squad on the men’s side at No. 3. Harvard (5) and Princeton (8) are also slotted in the top ten, according to CollegeFencing360.
Following the Lions on the women’s side are Princeton and Harvard, who sit at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. The Quakers enter the weekend as the eighth-ranked team in the country, while Cornell and Yale each received votes in the most recent poll.
Both the Penn men and women defeated Yale earlier this season at the Penn State Invitational, but have each dropped matches against Columbia.
The women’s squad finished tied for second with a record of 4-2 at last year’s Ivy Round Robins, with wins over Princeton, Yale, Cornell, and Brown. The Quakers were in the hunt until the final round, when a loss to Columbia denied the Red and Blue a share of the title. The foil squad provided the most success for Penn, notching a 4-2 record. Individually, Alejandra Trumble picked up a team-high 11 wins on epee.
The men were also extremely close to capturing the Ancient Eight crown, finishing the first day of competition as the only undefeated team. The Quakers, however, could not seal the deal -- as they fell to Princeton and Columbia on day two. Sophomore John Vaiani went 14-1 over the two-day event and earned the title of Foil Champion, while senior Shaul Gordon finished third on men’s sabre with a mark of 12-3.
Last time out
Both the men’s and women’s squads competed last weekend at the Northwestern Duals in South Bend Ind. The men’s team was especially impressive -- going 5-0 -- with wins over No. 2 Notre Dame (14-13), No. 7 Ohio State (16-11), Stanford (15-12), Air Force (18-9), and UC-San Diego (21-6). It was the second time this season that the Red and Blue snagged victories over the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes.
Justin Yoo paved the way on epee, piling up a team-high 12 wins, to go along with just three losses. Zsombor Garzo was also strong, tallying a record of 11-3. Garzo was 5-1 in the Quakers’ wins over OSU and Notre Dame. Garzo leads the team this season with a record of 36-8, including a 15-3 mark against ranked opponents.
On the women’s end, Penn finished the day with a mark of 2-4. Penn posted wins over Air Force (18-9) and Stanford (16-11), while dropping contests to UC-San Diego (14-13), No. 5 Northwestern (20-7), No. 6 Ohio State (19-8), and No. 2 Notre Dame (24-3).
The foil and sabre squads each notched 3-3 records, with Kathryn Khaw (sabre) leading the way. Khaw racked up a team-high 10 victories, while also registering the Red and Blue's best winning percentage at .625. Khaw leads the Quakers this season with an overall record of 26-9. Simone Unwalla (25-21) and Stephanie Wolf (24-19) have also been strong on foil and epee respectively.
Download: Ivy League Fencing Schedule.pdf