Fencing competes at Penn State Open

Sophomore Sara Ibrahim claimed the gold medal in epee Saturday at the Penn State Open.

Four fencers placed in the top eight in their respective events at the Garret Penn State Open on Saturday.

The event is the second competition for the Owls, who hosted the Temple Open on Oct. 31.

After placing second in epee at the Temple Open, sophomore Sara Ibrahim placed first Saturday, winning her gold medal match against Harvard University freshman Shawn Wallace.

“She really showed some mental toughness today,” coach Nikki Franke said. “She got down early in the gold medal bout and was able to turn it around, and was really impressive.”

Senior foil Fatima Largaespada tied for third place in foil after earning the No. 30 following pool play. Largaespada was eliminated in the semifinals by the University of Notre Dame’s Niki McKee, 15-11.

Along with Largaespada, senior Demi Antipas and junior Miranda Litzinger finished in sixth and seventh place in foil, respectively.

The Owls had 10 fencers advance through the pool rounds to the Top 16

“This is one of our best years in terms of preseason results,” Franke said.

The Owls added five freshmen to their roster for the upcoming season, each of whom competed Saturday. Fiona Fong and Quinn Duwelius placed 24th and 30th, respectively, out of 48 fencers in the epee field.. Auset Muhammad placed 27th in foil, and after winning the sabre competition at the Temple Open, Blessing Olaode finished 16th.

“For their first two competitions, they’ve done well,” Franke said. “It’s eye opening for them to see this kind of competition. Working hard in practice has paid off for them.”

After not being ranked in the CollegeFencing360 Women’s Coaches Poll last season, Temple is currently No. 10 in the poll.

“We definitely feel we’re Top-10 team and even a little bit better than last year,” Franke said. “That’s what we’re hoping the season will show.”

Evan Easterling can be reached at evan.easterling@temple.edu

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