Fencing beats Penn State, John Hopkins at Temple Invitational

Temple beat Penn State, the No. 3 ranked team in the CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll, 16-11, at the Temple Invitational on Saturday at McGonigle Hall.

Sophomore sabres Malia Hee (left) and Kerry Plunkett practice at the Student Pavilion on Feb. 13. | ALEX ST. CLAIR / TTN FILE PHOTO

Temple went 2-3 at the Temple Invitational on Saturday at McGonigle Hall.

The Owls (26-12) beat Penn State, who is ranked third in the CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll, 16-11. Temple also beat John Hopkins University 20-7.

Temple, who is ranked No. 7, picked up two of its three losses to ranked opponents. The Owls lost to lost to No. 5 ranked Princeton University, 14-13. and No. 8 ranked Penn 15-12. Temple’s third loss was to St. John’s University, who has received 42 votes to be ranked, 14-13.

“I thought the girls did a good job of working hard today,” coach Nikki Franke said. “We fenced some really good competition, so we knew whatever we got today would not be easy. I just wanted the girls to come out and show good effort against high level fencers, and I think they did a good job of doing that.”

Temple honored epee Safa Ibrahim at the meet as its only graduating senior. Despite going 4-7, Ibrahim is Temple’s all-time career wins leader with 221 and had fun competing on senior day.

“It was a great coming out here today,” Ibrahim said. “I don’t think the results were where I wanted them, but I love my teammates. It is going to be sad to go, I have so many good friends on this team. It was an awesome moment.”

Sophomore foil Kennedy Lovelace finished with the Owls’ best record on the day going 10-2. Lovelace went 7-2 against the ranked schools, including a 3-0 mark against Princeton.

“Kennedy was really focused today,” Franke said. “I liked how calm she was today. Kennedy looked strong all day. She did good against competitors who will be making a mark in the final tournaments of the season. She is really talented and I think that showed.”

Sophomore sabre Kerry Plunkett posted a 9-2 record on the day. Right behind her was former PDX Fencing Club teammate and fellow sophomore Malia Hee who went 8-3. The duo went a combined 14-2 against ranked opponents. Plunkett’s only loss to ranked opponents during the invitational came against Princeton.

Junior Ally Micek posted a 3-0 record versus Penn State to help the Owls’ sabre squad score a 5-4 victory against the Nittany Lions. Micek also went  2-1 against Penn.

With the meet portion of the season over, Temple’s remaining events are more individual than team based.

Ibrahim said she believes the Owls are set up for success as they approach the final stretch of the season.

“We are pretty much fencing for ourselves now,” Ibrahim said. “But it wont feel like that for this team. We are close, and it won’t matter if we aren’t competing as a team because I know we will be 100 percent behind each other every time one of us is fencing.”

The Owls will travel to West Point, New York for the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association Championships on March 3.

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