State College, Pa. - A clutch opening bout win over Duke highlighted the day's action on Saturday for the women's fencing team as they took part in the Penn State Invitational. A scheduled matchup with Temple was postponed and will take place in two weeks at the Philadelphia Invitational, which left Penn with four bouts on the day. The Quakers notched wins over the Blue Devils, North Carolina and Haverford, but were knocked off by Penn State to keep them from a perfect 4-0 mark.
The early-morning battle with Duke was nip and tuck throughout. A 5-4 advantage for the Blue Devils in epee gave that Penn squad its first defeat of the season, but a 7-2 victory from the foil team was just enough to deliver a 14-13 win to the Quakers. Luona Wang led the Quakers with a 3-0 mark against Duke, while Sarah Parmacek and Wendy Zhao went 2-1 to complete the foil victory.
The day's second bout failed to match the intrigue of the first, as Penn rolled over North Carolina, 20-7. The Quakers posted wins in all three weapons, with foil going a perfect 9-0 against the Tar Heels. Parmacek and Zhao were again critical in the win with 3-0 marks, but Rachel Chin got in on the act with a 2-0 record in foil, while Srey Beaulac went 2-0 in her first bouts of the season.
The day's lone disappointment came against the Nittany Lions. The Quakers were successful in both foil and epee, winning each by a count of 5-4. Unfortunately, Penn State's excellent saber team was able to post a 9-0 win over the Red and Blue, allowing them to escape with a 17-10 decision.
Undeterred by the loss, Penn bounced back in its only bout of the afternoon session to defeat Haverford, 24-3. The epee team went 9-0 en route to the easy victory. Krystyna Golden and Sara Jones were among a group of five who posted 3-0 records against the Fords.
Penn is back in action in two weeks at the Philadelphia Invitational, held this year at Temple's Student Pavilion on Jan. 26. The Quakers will have rematches from today with Duke and Haverford, while also facing a loaded schedule that includes their rescheduled bout against Temple, plus a clash with a highly-regarded Northwestern squad.