Fencing Set to Host IFA's this Weekend

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of Pennsylvania will host the Intercollegiate Fencing Association (IFA) Championships on Feb. 25-26 at Hutchinson Gym. Admission is free. The event will get underway at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Competition will be followed by an awards ceremony each day.

The IFA is a 12-member association which includes Boston College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Vassar College and Yale University. The IFA Championship is the oldest collegiate championship in the country; this year will be the 112th edition.

Last year, Harvard won the men’s and women’s three-weapon titles as well as the six-weapon combined trophy.

The Penn men’s and women’s fencing teams have completed their Ivy schedule; however, they will look for redemption against some of their league foes this weekend. The men defeated Yale and Brown, but lost to Columbia, Princeton and Harvard. The men boast one of the top foil teams in the Ivy League, led by sophomore All-America Ron Berkowsky who is 38-1 overall and 14-1 in the league. Captain Michael Galligan is 26-13 this season and is a reigning All-America like Berkowsky. Sophomore Corey Purcell has emerged as a solid complement to Berkowsky and Galligan. Purcell is 22-10 overall, but has an impressive 12-3 Ivy record.

The women finished the Ivy League schedule 2-3, defeating and losing to the same teams as the men. They have six fencers with at least 20 wins this season. Junior Holly Buechel (epee) leads the Quakers with 35 wins, 13 of them coming in the Ivy League. Freshman Abby Emerson (foil) is having a stellar first season for the Red and Blue. She ranks second on the team with 30 victories. Fellow freshman Cassandra Partyka (sabre) trails her classmate in the victory category by one.

For complete results of Penn’s men’s and women’s fencing this weekend, check back to www.pennathletics.com.