PHILADELPHIA - The women's fencing team, ranked #9 in the nation, will have to fend off five challengers on Saturday at the Eric Sollee Invitational. At 7-3 on the season, the Quakers have yet to lose to an opponent ranked outside the country's top eight, making them prohibitive favorites against their competition this weekend.
Last season at this same event, Penn racked up a 5-1 record with the lone blemish coming to a Harvard team that they will not face this year until the Ivy Championships. This time around, the Quakers will get rematches with the teams they vanquished in 2011, beginning with the host, Brandeis, at 9 a.m. in the first round of the day. The morning session ends with a matchup against MIT at 10:15. Following a break for lunch, Penn returns to the strips at 1:30 to take on NYU.
The most difficult matches of the day may be the final two. At 2:45, the Quakers take on Boston College. The Eagles went 5-1 last weekend at home, their only competition thus far in the new year. At 4:00, the Red and Blue close out their day against Brown, the first time they will line up across from Ivy competition on the season. Penn defeated Brown twice last season, both times by scores of 16-11.
Following the Eric Sollee Invitational, Penn travels next weekend to Yale for the Ivy Championships on Feb. 11-12, hoping to improve on a fourth-place finish from a year ago.