PHILADELPHIA – Highlighted by three top-three finishes, the University of Pennsylvania women’s fencing team put together a solid performance at the Garrett Open on Saturday at Penn State.
Freshman Victoria Zhang led the way with a second-place finish on saber. The rookie Quaker put together a 4-1 effort in pool action and used that momentum for a stellar run in the bracket. Zhang tallied wins over teammate Dana Kong (15-9), Yale’s Joanna Lew (15-13) and Temple’s Kerry Plunkett (15-12) before falling the finals to the Owls’ Malia Hee in a tight 15-14 battle.
Classmate Nicole Vaiani also compiled a nice afternoon in just her second collegiate tournament. The New Jersey native registered a 5-1 record in her pool and followed up with a third-place overall finish in foil. In bracket play, Vaiani recorded triumphs over Zoe Loh of Notre Dame (15-3) and North Carolina’s Carlexa Fevry (15-7). She would eventually lose to the champion of the tournament, Notre Dame’s Lee Kiefer.
The Quakers’ final top performer was senior captain, Alejandra Trumble, who finished tied for third on epee. Trumble was also strong in her pool group, tallying a mark of 5-1. She would go on to record wins over Yale’s Lucy Friedmann (6-2) and the top-seed Safa Ibrahim of Temple (15-4). Trumble’s run would eventually end at the hands of Notre Dame’s Amanda Sirico (15-10).
Other notable efforts for Penn came from Danielle Ferdon and Naomi Popkin, who finished seventh and eighth respectively on foil. Freshman Sara Papp was the Red and Blue’s final top-10 finisher, as she tallied a ninth-place effort on saber.
The Quakers will be off until the New Year. Penn will send fencers to the January North American Cup in Columbus Ohio on Jan. 6 before heading back to Penn State for the PSU Invitational on Jan. 15.