Owls surpass last season’s win total, beat two ranked teams

The eighth-ranked Owls beat No. 4 Ohio State University and No. 9 Northwestern University in their 11-1 weekend at the Northwestern Duals in South Bend, Indiana.

Temple, the No. 8 team in the CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll, competed in the annual Northwestern Duals on Saturday and Sunday. The competition was held in South Bend, Indiana due to renovations at Northwestern University’s facility.

The Owls finished an impressive 11-1, which set a school record for wins at the event. With only two more dual meets left on the schedule, Temple currently sits at 25-8 on the season. The Owls have already surpassed last season’s win total.

On Saturday, Temple cruised to a quick 3-0 start. The Owls scored 20 or more points in each of their first three victories, which included a 21-6 blowout against No. 4 Ohio State University. The team’s next three duels proved to be a little more challenging. In the fourth meet of the day, Temple defeated Stanford University 15-12.

The Owls’ next opponent was No. 3 University of Notre Dame. Temple fell behind in foil, surrendering a quick seven points. As the match went on, the Owls couldn’t catch up and fell 15-12. In the last bout of the day, Temple faced the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Owls once again gave up seven points in foil but went 12-6 in epee and sabre to win the match 14-13.

“Everyone performed well on Saturday,” coach Nikki Franke said. “Sabre did an excellent job only losing one match. Especially against Ohio State, I’m very impressed with how they fought.”

On the second day of the competition, Temple would once again showcase its dominance. In the first match, No. 9 Northwestern took an early 12-6 lead going into sabre. The Owls rallied nine straight points in sabre on their way to a 15-12 victory. After beating its second Top 10 opponent of the weekend, Temple would go onto win its last five duals in convincing fashion.

“I’m very happy to get one back against Northwestern,” Franke said. “Our sabre went 9-0, which was very important. I saw much improvement against Northwestern, and I’m very pleased with our girls. We just need to keep working harder every day.”

The closest contest was against the University of California at San Diego. Leading up to the match, Temple had scored at least 20 points in four consecutive duels. The Owls fell one point short of 20 against the Tritons in a 19-8 win.

The Owls’ next dual meet and second-to-last of the season is the Fairleigh Dickinson University Invitational on Saturday in New Jersey. The NCAA regional meet is less than one month away.

“We’re working very hard and I plan on winning out the rest of the season, but we need to continue to show improvement,” Franke said.

Zach Bailey can be reached at zachary.bailey@temple.edu. Follow The Temple News on Twitter @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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