The fencing team placed several fencers in its first tournament of the season at the 32nd annual Temple Open, but squad members said they still have room to improve.
The Owls were able to send five fencers into the final stage, which consisted of eight competitors, in their respective divisions. The tournament, known as the largest individual fencing tournament in the nation, consisted of more than 300 fencers from across the country and took place during the weekend at McGonigle Hall.
Sophomore foil Epiphany Georges placed third in the foil competition and said she was content with the squad’s performance.
“We gave it our all, I was proud of everyone for that,” Georges said. “[Saturday] was a good day for us, but it could have been better, and it definitely wasn’t our best.”
The sabre squad was the most successful throughout the tournament sending three fencers to the final eight, including senior Kamali Thompson who placed third and was within one point of the finals. Freshmen Tiki Kastor and Lauren Rangel-Freidman finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
“Everything is about adjustments, we need a backup strategy incase our original attack fails,” Thompson said. “We need to make strong actions, and give 100 percent at all times especially when we are facing tougher competition.”
Coach Nikki Franke said the participation and national competition at the home tournament is key for the team to open its season.
“It’s Great for fencing, Franke said. “The girls get a chance to fence new people that they normally wouldn’t fence. Even though it’s an individual tournament there is a great team atmosphere, we pride ourselves on supporting each other.”
The Owls will now prepare for the Penn State Open, which is held on Nov. 19 at State College, Pa. Franke said she understands what her team needs to work on for Penn State.
“The Temple Open is nice because we can see where our team needs to work on early in the year,” Franke said. “Penn State is a strong tournament, we want to improve and we are looking forward to getting away and seeing our improvement.”
Anthony Bellino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.