Senior foil Fatima Largaespada performed her best against top competition at Sunday’s Duke Meet, earning a 3-0 record against University of Notre Dame, No. 2 in the CollegeFencing360.com Coaches’ Poll.
As a team, the Owls posted a 3-2 record, defeating Duke University, Brandeis University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“She fenced excellent,” coach Nikki Franke said of Largaespada. “She really was fast, mixed up offense and defense, so she really kept the Notre Dame girls a little off her and kept them uncertain.”
The rest of the foil squad went 0-6 as the team lost to Notre Dame for the second time in the last two weeks. The Fighting Irish defeated Temple 16-11 at last weekend’s Northwestern Duals, and Notre Dame earned a 17-10 victory on Sunday.
The Owls were defeated 18-9 by No. 9 Penn State on Sunday, as the Nittany Lions avenged their 18-9 loss against Temple at the Penn State Invitational Jan. 16.
“It’s just about that mental toughness and being able to stay focused when you have one strong match after another and keep your energy and your determination up,” Franke said. “We’re not adapting quickly enough and that’s something we have to continue to work on. We’re getting into trouble and not problem-solving fast enough and making the necessary adjustments.”
The sabre squad earned a 6-3 record against North Carolina and a 7-2 record against Duke, but struggled against Penn State, posting a 3-6 record.
The Owls will have a weekend off of competition, which they hope to use to give fencers a break and recover from injury, before the Temple Invitational Feb. 20 and the rescheduled Philadelphia Invitational Feb. 21.
Temple will have matchups with Penn State, No. 8 the University of Pennsylvania, No. 5 Northwestern University, and No. 3 Princeton University.
Evan Easterling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org