With six fencers earning awards for finishing in the Top 8 of their respective events, the Owls started off their season the way they wanted to at the Temple Open on Saturday.
In foil, freshman Becca Stanford and junior Demi Antipas tied for third and freshman Mariah Slagle rounded out the Owls in the Top 8 with an eighth-place finish of her own in foil.
In épée, junior Jessica Hall finished in the seventh spot, while freshman Safa Ibrahim paced the team with a fifth-place finish in the épée tournament.
Senior Lauren Rangel-Friedman led the team, finishing in a third-place tie in sabre.
For junior Demi Antipas, her third-place tie in foil was not one that was easily attained. It was more of a struggle, if anything, she said.
“I felt like I really had to fight my way to the top,” Antipas said. “Each bout was a struggle, but I pulled it out every single time. … Especially training hard. All season the team has been working hard and that alone has prepared me for this moment.
The Temple Open houses numerous teams from across the country, including many fencing powerhouses.
Fending off many tough competitors in such a big tournament is key in building momentum for the latter part of the season according to Antipas.
“To start off the season with a third-place finish in a big tournament like the Temple Open is good,” Antipas said. “I believe that this good start has me on the right track for the upcoming events in the season.”
Senior captain Lauren Rangel-Friedman also placed in a tie for third in the sabre tournament.
Her finish in her final home event at Pearson-McGonigle Hall was something that was important to her, she said.
“This is an opportunity that I will only have once,” she said. “I felt like I performed better today here at the Temple Open than I have in previous Opens over my collegiate career, so I am happy about that.”
In an event housing some of the best in women’s fencing, Rangel-Friedman attributed her solid finish to steady composure and her ability to focus.
“There were a lot of tough competitors at the Temple Open today,” Rangel-Friedman said. “I think that I kept my cool well and my ability to focus helped me out in the tournament today.”
Both Antipas and Rangel-Friedman said the unbridled support from teammates helped each other finish well in their respective events, whether it was foil, sabre or épée.
“The team atmosphere was great today,” Rangel-Friedman said. “In terms of staying focused and not getting distracted from the [team’s] goals. I think that it is easy to get sidetracked when you lose a lot of tough matches in a row or you are fencing someone with a difficult defense.”
Dalton Balthaser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @DaltonBalthaser.