SAN ANTONIO – In what was a bit of an inevitability, the Penn fencing team slipped from sixth to ninth on Saturday at the NCAA Combined Men’s and Women’s Fencing Championships. The six representatives from the men’s team had put the Quakers in good standing with 66 wins during the round-robin portion of Thursday and Friday, but with only three women taking over on Saturday, schools with more competitors were well-positioned to overtake Penn. The Red and Blue are almost locked into a ninth-place finish, currently 10 points behind Columbia with 83 points to the Lions’ 93, but 48 points ahead of 10th place Yale.
For the three fencers representing Penn though, there’s still plenty at stake. After her national runner-up finish in women’s foil in 2012, sophomore Luona Wang is in contention for a return trip to the national semifinals after her performance on Saturday. Through 15 bouts, Wang is in fifth place with 10 wins, trailing Madison Zeiss of Notre Dame by a single bout to qualify for the No. 4 seed. Lee Kiefer of Notre Dame and Mona Shaito of Ohio State lead foil with 14 wins each, while Jackie Dubrovich of Columbia currently is third with 13 victories. Last year’s champion, Evgeniya Kirpicheva of St. John’s, is in 10th place with eight wins. Wang was able to partially avenge last year’s defeat in the finals with a 5-4 decision over Kirpicheva on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Penn’s two qualifiers in epee – Amrit Bhinder and Gabby Foor – totaled seven wins on Saturday. Foor knocked off Bhinder by a count of 5-2 in the opening bout of the day but was winless from thereon. Bhinder recovered to win six bouts and is currently 18th.
After eight bouts tomorrow morning to complete the round-robin format, the national semifinals in each weapon will get underway at 2:45 p.m. on ESPN3.com.
Download: 2013 Fencing - Day 3.pdf