BALTIMORE, Md. – The University of Pennsylvania fencing squads wrapped up 2015 with a trip to their second North American Cup of the season over the weekend in Baltimore, Md. Penn sent eight student-athletes to the three-day event, which also served as of qualifier for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Sophomore John Vaiani led the way for the men’s foil squad, placing 15th in the event. Following a 4-2 record in pool play, Vaiani rattled off wins over Eric Paracka (15-3), Alex Chiang (15-8), Nolen Scruggs (15-12), before falling in the Round of 16.
Also on foil, freshman Raymond Chen went a perfect 6-0 to go into the Elimination Round as the No. 2 seed. Despite the high ranking, Chen was only able to put together one more win to finish 17th overall. Senior Denes Marton was the final finisher on foil for the Quakers, placing 63rd.
Alejandra Trumble also competed on Friday in the women’s epee. The junior went 4-2 in the seeding rounds, and put together a pair of wins in the Round of 128 and 64. Trumble would go on to lose to the eventual champion in the Round of 32 to finish in 29th.
Sophomore Jake Raynis and Justin Yoo were in action on men’s epee. Raynis compiled a 5-1 mark heading into the Elimination Round, where he nabbed one win and finished 39th overall. Yoo also picked up a win in the First Round, finishing 99th.
Freshman Simone Unwalla put forth the best showing for the Quakers in the women’s foil event. After going a perfect 6-0 in pool action to garner the No. 8 seed (and a bye), Unwalla rattled off three wins to advance all the way to the Quarterfinals. Her impressive run would end there, however, as she finished seventh in the event to earn the Quakers lone medal of the weekend.
Freshman Julian Merchant was the final Quaker to take to the strips in Baltimore. Merchant went 4-2 in the seeding rounds, and dropped a hard-fought 15-14 match in the Round of 64. He finished 42nd for the event.
The Quakers will be back in action in 2016, opening the New Year at their final North American Cup of the season in St. Louis.