It’s been 34 days since the Temple fencing team has participated in a meet. But you wouldn’t know it from their performance at the Penn State Invitational on Sunday. The team went 3-2, including wins over Columbia, Haverford and the University of North Carolina.
“It was a very tough meet,” coach Nikki Franke said. “We faced three Top 10 teams, so there was no letup… It was a tough day for us.”
The one point win against Columbia, 14-13, was a highly contested match. Temple started out well, jumping out to an early lead. They would lose the final four bouts but still came out on top.
“So that was a great win for us and especially a great way to end the day,” Franke said. “Our sabre squad did outstanding in that match, as well as épée, who held their own….both sabre and épée did a great job against Columbia.”
In the Owls 24-3 win over Haverford, sabre went 9-0 and sabre also went 7-2 in the squad’s 17-10 win over North Carolina. Also against North Carolina, épée went 6-3, including freshman Noelle Baptiste’s 3-0 performance.
“They [sabre] did a very nice job,” Franke said. They were consistent. All of them contributed and all of them worked hard and they worked together very well.”
Temple’s two losses came against Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania by a combined score of 17-37.
“Penn State was out first match of the day and we did not fence up to our potential,” Franke said. “Penn State has a very good team, no question about it. They have a very strong squad. But we definitely should have done better. We were capable of winning that match and we didn’t come close. That was a good wake up for us.”
Individually for the Owls, Baptiste went 8-3, junior sabre Tiki Kastor went 7-4 and senior épée Chantal Montrose went 6-6.
Now that winter break is over, the Owls will begin a stretch where they will be in action every weekend for a month. Their next meet is the January NAC- Division I/U-20 Event in Virginia Beach, Va. from Jan. 17-20.
“I think they are looking forward to it,” Franke said. “We trained very hard in the fall and now this is what really counts. I think the girls are looking forward to it.”
Michael Guise can be reached at Michaelguise@temple.edu or on Twitter @MikeG2511.