COLUMBUS, OHIO - The No. 8 Penn men's fencing team won the team sabre competition at the U.S. Collegiate Weapon Squad Championships on Sunday, helping the team to a second-place finish at the event, hosted at French Fieldhouse on the campus of Ohio State University. Third-place finishes from epee and foil rounded out the Penn weapons in a seven-team field that included teams such as Princeton and the Buckeyes.
With just four teams fielding squads in the sabre competition, Penn - the No. 1 seed in the event - was immediately put into the semifinals where it faced off with No. 4 NYU. Sean Turner was on the strips when the Quakers took their first double-digit lead of the bout, and they maintained that edge most of the way home in a 45-27 victory. With that win, they advanced to the final where No. 2 North Carolina awaited. The Tar Heels provided slightly more resistance, even leading as the bout reached the midway point, but Steven Yang and Evan Prochniak turned on the jets in the late stages, sealing the title with a 45-30 win.
Penn was given the No. 4 seed in epee and had to face North Carolina in a first-round draw. The Quakers trailed, 23-13, until Clifford Fishler was given time to perform. The junior scored 13 of the next 16 points to knot the bout at 26-26. From there, Penn gained a small lead and then took hold of the bout late thanks to Ayyub Ibrahim. Ibrahim supplied the final 10 points for Penn in a 43-34 win. A semifinal matchup with No. 1 Ohio State didn't go as well, as the Buckeyes downed the Quakers, 45-22. Rene Gannon-O'Gara had 11 of Penn's 22 points. Granted a little bit of a look ahead to next week's Ivy League Round-Robins thanks to a bronze medal bout with Princeton in the consolation bracket, Penn rebounded for a 45-27 victory. Fishler and Gannon-O'Gara dominated down the stretch, expanding a 35-26 lead into the final margin by scoring 10 of the last 11 points.
Things didn't go as well for foil on the day, as they dropped about to No. 3 Sacred Heart before rebounding with a defeat of No. 4 NYU. The Red and Blue trailed throughout in the semifinal bout with the Pioneers, closing within two points late but unable to overtake the opposition. In the consolation final, the Quakerstrailed through six rounds, but Jason Chang turned a 30-27 deficit into a 35-31 lead and Penn rolled from there.
Penn returns to action next weekend at Harvard, taking part in the rescheduled Ivy League Round-Robins on March 2-3. The Quakers compete in five bouts over two days, facing three ranked opponents.