NEW YORK - The #10 women's fencing team wrapped up the second edition of the U.S. Collegiate Weapon Squad Championships in fourth place at NYU. Penn won the overall team title a season ago.
While foil has been leaned on heavily this season for the Quakers, it was sabre who came through with the best individual finish on Sunday as they reached the semifinals before falling to the #1 seed Columbia Lions. Seeded fifth, the team of Laura Barger, Susan Contess, Dominika Franciszkowicz and Laura Paragano knocked off Johns Hopkins in the opening round, 45-34. Moving into the quarterfinals, they submitted a slight upset by upending the #4 North Carolina Tar Heels, 45-43. Against UNC, Franciszkowicz was overpowering, scoring 24 points for the Red and Blue while giving up only five. Penn's run was ended in the semifinals, losing to Columbia, 45-26.
The foil team was given just a #5 seed despite their 19-2 record entering the weekend. The Quakers toyed with North Carolina in the Round of 16, crushing the Tar Heels by a final of 45-9. But faced with a difficult St. John's squad in the quarters, Penn came by short by the narrowest of margins, losing 32-31.
The Quakers were also givena five seed in epee. While they snuck past Johns Hopkins, 44-43, in their first bout, they fell behind Northwestern early on in the quarterfinals and never recovered, falling 45-18.
The Red and Blue take part in the NCAA Regionals, hosted by Lafayette, on March 10 in Easton, Pa. The NCAA Championships will be held March 22-25 in Columbus, Ohio.