Temple University fencing competed against four top-10 schools ranked by CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll at the Philadelphia Invitational on Sunday.
Temple (9-5), which comes in at No. 10, finished with a 3-2 record. The Owls lost to Northwestern University, 15-12, and Columbia University, 17-10. In the first poll of the 2018-19 season, Northwestern was ranked No. 2 and Columbia ranked third. The Owls were also supposed to compete against the University of Notre Dame, who is currently ranked No. 1, but the Notre Dame team could not travel due to inclement weather.
“We’ll have a chance to go back and look at it and come up with some strategies for the next time we’ll see them,” coach Nikki Franke said. “Both are really strong teams. We held our own and I was pleased with that.”
The Owls did defeat No. 5 Ohio State University, 15-12, and No. 9 Penn, 16-11. Temple’s sabre, foil and epee squads secured a 5-4 victory against Ohio State.
The sabre squad defeated Penn, 6-3, while the foil and epee squads won 5-4. Senior epee Fiona Fong went 2-1 against the Buckeyes and Quakers, finishing with a 6-5 record.
“We knew it was going to be a tough day,” Franke said. “To get those wins against ranked teams who we had not beaten in recent years was definitely a confidence booster.”
The Owls topped New York University, 17-10, with senior sabre Blessing Olaode and junior epee Camille Simmons finishing with a 3-0 record. The sabre and epee squads defeated NYU, 7-2. while the foil squad lost.
Junior sabres Malia Hee and Kerry Plunkett recorded 10 and nine wins, respectively, while only losing three bouts. Plunkett went all three bouts against both Northwestern and Ohio State. Hee finished 3-0 against Penn.
Senior epee Ally Micek posted a 9-6 record. Micek got two wins against each Northwestern, Columbia, Ohio State and NYU.
Temple will next compete in the Northwestern Duals on Feb. 2-3 in South Bend, Indiana. The Owls will face 12 teams, including Northwestern, during the two-day meet.
“Our goal is to improve every week to get better and better,” Franke said. “That’s what we’re striving for, so that we’re at our peak as we go into the postseason. We’re still looking for ways to improve and that’s what we do on a daily basis.”
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