PHILADELPHIA - The men's fencing team, ranked #7 in the country, held serve at home in last weekend's Philadelphia Invitational, and will bring a 6-0 mark into Happy Valley for the Penn State Invitational on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m.
The morning session gets underway with the Quakers squaring off with Drew. The Rangers competed in the Philadelphia Invitational, but were not slated to face the Red and Blue. Drew logged wins over North Carolina, NJIT and Haverford last weekend and brings an 8-3 record to Penn State.
Possibly the bout of the day is set for 10:15 when the Quakers meet with the host Nittany Lions. Penn State is ranked #1 in the nation according to CollegeFencing360, and will prove to be a difficult test despite just a 3-2 record last week in an invitational hosted by St. John's.
The morning session ends against North Carolina at 11:30 in the first of three rematches that Penn will endure on the day. Despite a 26-1 romp over the Tar Heels last weekend, the Red and Blue will be up against many new faces, as UNC split its squad last week and brought many members of the team to New York for the NYU Invitational.
Following lunch, fencing resumes at 1:15 with the Red and Blue going against Haverford for a second straight week. Penn had little trouble with the Fords last weekend, winning 22-5, including a 9-0 edge in sabre.
With a bye in the sixth and final round, the day will end early for Penn when they take on #8 Duke at 2:30 in the fifth round. Last week's Duke bout was one of two 14-13 victories for the Red and Blue on the day and will provide a stern challenge to close the day. Sabre (6-3) and foil (5-4) staked Penn to a lead that was just enough to hold on despite falling, 6-3, in epee against the Blue Devils.
Sabre is off to a blazing start for Penn on the season, winning 42 of 54 possible points last weekend. In foil, senior Zane Grodman and freshman Jason Chang both collected 13 wins on the weekend, while in epee, Clifford Fishler was named one of CollegeFencing360's Primetime Performers of the Week for scoring the winning point in the Quakers' 14-13 nailbiter with Sacred Heart.
Following the Penn State Invitational, Penn will quickly jump back into action at the Eric Sollee Invitational on Feb. 4, hosted by Brandeis.