COLUMBUS, OHIO - The No. 10 Penn women's fencing team settled for second place behind the host Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday at the U.S. Collegiate Weapon Squad Championships, but not before knocking off the home team in a classic duel in the foil competition.
The foil squad perhaps was feeling slighted after drawing just a No. 3 seed in the bracket. A bye in the opening round put them immediately into the semifinals where they met No. 2 Northwestern. The Quakers led the Wildcats wire-to-wire, and put the finishing touches on the win by scoring 12 of the final 15 points in a 45-29 victory. That win put them into the finals where they would meet OSU. Through three rounds, the Red and Blue trailed, 12-3, but would soon turn that around. A 6-0 round from Sarah Parmacek drew Penn within three points and the deficit remained in that neighborhood for much of the next five rounds. The final matchup would pit Luona Wang against Mai Shaito - the sister of Mona Shaito, who Wang defeated in last season's NCAA semifinals. Wang again had that family's number, posting an 8-4 edge in the matchup to give Penn the title with a 37-36 win.
The other two Penn squads didn't enjoy the same success on the day. Epee recorded a low-scoring quarterfinal victory over North Carolina, 25-16, behind 12 points from Amrit Bhinder. The semifinals proved to be as far as the Quakers would go, falling to No. 1 Ohio State, 45-32. A bronze medal bout against Northwestern turned into a 45-25 defeat.
The sabre team lost a tight quarterfinal bout against North Carolina, 45-39. The Penn deficit was only one entering the final two rounds, but they couldn't come up with the necessary points to advance on to face Ohio State in the semis. Instead, the team moved into the consolation bracket, where they met NYU. Tiffany Chan posted a 9-1 edge in the second round to give the Quakers a 10-6 lead. The lead see-sawed after that, but a 5-0 round from Krystyna Golden put Penn ahead, 35-29. Five points apiece from Susan Contess and Chan closed out the 45-41 win.
Penn returns to the strips next weekend in the rescheduled Ivy League Round-Robins on the campus of Harvard University. The event will take place on March 2-3 and will feature six bouts for the Quakers, including three against ranked opposition.