PHILADELPHIA – The men’s and women’s fencing teams will be in action this weekend, traveling to take part in the Penn State Invitational in State College on Saturday. The trip out west marks the first of three-consecutive weekends of competition, leading up to the Ivy League Championships on February 6-7. In addition to the Nittany Lions, the Quakers will fence against Yale, Haverford, Duke, Temple (women only), the University of North Carolina and Columbia.
Penn is coming off its final North American Cup (NAC) of the season last weekend in St. Louis. Justin Yoo put together Penn’s top showing over the three days of competition, placing eighth on epee. In fact, his top-eight finish puts him in great position to earn a spot on the U.S. Junior Team.
Other notable performers from this past weekend included Jake Raynis and Julian Merchant. Raynis finished 13th on epee, while Merchant tied for 17th on sabre.
The North American Cups have provided the Quakers three opportunities to individually compete against some of the best fencers from around the country and beyond. Freshman Simone Unwalla impressed at the event in December, garnering the Quakers’ lone medal with a seventh-place finish on foil.
In November, the Quakers had three finishers in the top ten of their respective weapons at the NAC in Baltimore. Raynis (epee) and freshman Raymond Chen (foil) each notched third-place efforts, while Harry McGuire placed ninth on foil.
Also earlier this season, the Quakers hosted the Elite Invitational in the Dave Micahnik Fencing Center. The men’s squad was especially strong in this team event, tallying a perfect 5-0 record – including triumphs over nationally-ranked foes, Notre Dame and Ohio State. On the women’s side, the Red and Blue compiled wins over Johns Hopkins, Air Force and NJIT.
At last season’s PSU Invite, both the men’s and women’s squad put forth solid showings. The men notched a 3-1 record, picking up wins over Haverford, Columbia and North Carolina. Senior Shaul Gordon tallied the best record for Penn, going 9-2 on sabre.
The women also lost just once at Penn State, finishing the day with four wins. The Quakers registered triumphs over North Carolina, Haverford, Penn State, and Temple. Junior Cassidy Seidl racked up a team-best 11 wins, and led the foil squad to a perfect 5-0 record.