The No. 8 fencing team goes 5-0 at meet.
After cruising through the first rounds of the Philadelphia Invitational on Saturday, the No. 8 fencing team faced its toughest challenge. In the Owls’ fourth competition of the day, the team faced the No. 4 Northwestern Wildcats.
After falling 5-4 in both the sabre and foil competitions, the Owls found themselves trailing by two with their epee squad due to compete.
In the final epee bout, junior Jill Bratton defeated Northwestern junior Kate Cavanaugh in a high-tension competition.
“The bout was intense,” said sophomore epee squad leader Chantal Montrose. “It was one of the most intense bouts that I have ever been around.”
The Owls took the momentum into the final matchup with Johns Hopkins. Temple’s contest with the Blue Jays went smoothly, with the Owls winning 20-7.
Coach Nikki Franke said she was impressed with her team’s effort at the tournament.
“We did well today,” Franke said. “Everyone worked hard in their bouts and we saw results.”
When the national rankings were released on Thursday, the Owls were not thrilled with their No. 8 spot.
Senior foil squad leader Alyssa Lomuscio said that the Owls’ victory against a higher ranked Northwestern is a statement win for the team.
“It was just incredible, because Northwestern was ranked fourth above us this year and we are all much better fencers than them,” Lomuscio said. “We really needed to prove it today, and we did.”
The perfect 5-0 record at the tournament this past weekend came in the wake of the U.S. Fencing Association’s North American Cup.
This event, held on Jan. 13-16 in Portland, Ore. compiles the nation’s top fencers, both male and female to compete.
The Owls competed in the national tournament and had two Top 20 finishers among a field that included fencers gearing up for the Summer Olympics.
Sophomore foil squad member Epiphany Georges placed 16th in the Senior Women’s Foil division out of 104 total competitors and Montrose placed 11th in the Under 20 Women’s Epee division out of 109 total competitors.
Montrose said that along with stronger competition, the individual aspect of the event separates the team and doesn’t allow for strong camaraderie between teammates.
“Everyone is really dispersed and it’s hard to feel that team support,” Montrose said.
With the North American Cup in the past, the Owls can only savor the gratifying win against Northwestern for a few more days.
Temple’s next competition will be Saturday at Penn State for the Penn State Multi-Meet event.
Colin Tansits can be reached at email@example.com.