PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s fencing teams each earned spots in the first CollegeFencing360 rankings of the season. The men tied a program-best at No. 3 in the country, while the women’s squad fit in at No. 9.
The men’s team was voted only behind a Columbia team that won the national championship last season, and a Notre Dame squad which the Quakers defeated earlier this season at the Elite Invitational. CollegeFencing360 had many nice things to say about the Red and Blue:
The Quakers are a team on the rise, with an assortment of fencers who have NCAA Tournament experience plus a pair of highly-touted newcomers … sophomore John Vaiani reached the 2015 NCSS foil semifinals, while sr. Shaul Gordon was the 2013 NCAA runner-up (while fencing for in-state rival Penn State; he then was a 2014 semifinalist with Penn but disappointingly placed 15th in 2015) … Penn returns its All-America epee duo, as sophomores Jake Raynis and Zsombor Garzo placed 9th and 10th at the 2015 NCAAs … the roster also includes three senior veterans who were not in the 2015 NCAAs but fenced at the NCAAs earlier in their careers: epeeist R.J. Shipp (14th in ’14), foilist Adam Adam Elkassas (21st in ’14) and epeeist Ayyub Ibrahim (8th in ’13; did not fence at all for Penn in ’15) … Penn must replace two departed fencers from its 2015 NCAA group (Steven Yang/11th in sabre, and foilist Jason Chang/16th) but overall help is on the way with the arrival of epeeist Justin Yoo (Los Angeles; #1 among u-20s) and #7 under-20 foilist Raymond Chen.
On the women’s side, the Quakers are slotted right where they left off in the 2015. Penn is 3-2 on the season, with tight losses to top-ranked Notre Dame (17-10) and No. 6 Ohio State (15-12). CollegeFencing360 notes both Aleina Edwards and Cassidy Seidl as reasons for optimism this season for Penn.
The Quakers are back in action tomorrow at the Penn State Invitational in State College.