Temple fencing wins eight bouts at Northwestern Duals

The Owls posted an 8-2 record during the two-day competition in South Bend, Indiana, and coach Nikki Franke earned her 800th career win.

Coach Nikki Franke clinched her 800th career win on Sunday on the second day of the Northwestern Duals.

After Temple posted a 4-1 record on Saturday, Franke had 799 wins entering Sunday. An 18-9 win against Air Force gave Franke the milestone.

“I am happy I was able to reach 800 wins today,” Franke said. “It is good to reach a milestone, but I am happier we were able to have a good weekend outside of me getting 800. Our fencers had a strong weekend we look to build on.”

Temple (22-8) went 8-2 over the two-day competition in South Bend, Indiana. Temple’s only two losses were 15-12 defeats to the University of Notre Dame and Ohio State University. Both teams are ranked in the top five of the CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll. The Owls are currently seventh in the poll.

“These were good bouts to see where we are,” Franke said. “Notre Dame and Ohio State are very good teams, and as the postseason arrives, we are going to have to fence high-level programs like that. I liked how we fought and kept it to the last rotation. We just weren’t able to pull it out.”

Temple beat No. 8 Northwestern University 16-11 on Saturday. Northwestern beat Temple, 16-11, at the Philadelphia Invitational hosted by Penn on Jan. 20.

In the rematch, the sabre squad helped the Owls beat the Wildcats with a 7-2 victory. Over the weekend, the sabre squad posted a 73-17 record.  

Freshman sabre Eva Hinds had the team’s best individual record by going 18-3. Sophomore sabre Malia Hee helped by posting a 7-2 record on both days.

“Eva had a tremendous weekend,” Franke said. “She fenced with nice confidence, and the results showed that. I like how she is growing as the year is progressing and how the sabre squad as a whole is progressing. The started to show the consistency I have been looking for.”

Freshman Megan Ross went a perfect 10-0 over the weekend for the foil squad. Freshman foil Kari Weiner struggled on day one, but bounced back and went 6-1 on Sunday. She won two of her three bouts against No. 5 Ohio State.

“She did a nice job fighting to get good results on Sunday, and along with Megan we had some nice foil performances,” Franke said. “We have nice depth, and we can have anyone step up at any time. Heading into later in the season, this is a good thing to see.”

The epee squad had a strong Sunday by going 5-0 on the day, which included a 5-4 victory against Ohio State. Senior epee Safa Ibrahim went 16-4 over the weekend. Junior epee Ally Micek posted a 9-3 record on Sunday. Both Ibrahim and Micek went 2-1 against the Buckeyes.

“I like how the epees performed, especially against Ohio State,” Franke said. “Ohio State has a really strong epee squad, so I wanted to see a strong performance against them, and some of our girls stepped up and put up a good fight.”

Remaining consistent is key to having a strong run at the end of the season, Franke said.

Temple’s next meet is the Duke Invitational on Sunday in Durham, North Carolina. The Owls will face four schools, including No. 1 Notre Dame.

“We have had a really strong schedule this season,” Franke said. “We have faced a lot of good programs this year, and I feel like that is helping us step up our game each week. We get to go at it again next weekend, and we are looking forward to keep this momentum and work on getting better.”

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