The fencing team is missing something.
Experience. The Owls, who finished 19-5 last season, return nine fencers this season. The other half of the team is composed of freshmen.
Without any seniors on the team, junior
Samantha Myles said the team expects her and the Owls’ three other juniors, Sabre
fencer Kristine Jones and Epee fencers Brianna Ferrara and Marla Nacey, to be leaders.
“We weren’t expecting to step up because
we’re juniors,” Myles said. “So we have to really step it up this year and take the role that we weren’t expected to have for a whole other year.”
Though the Owls may lack experience, the team opened its season strong at Satruday’s Temple Open, held at the Temple Pavilion.
Four freshmen reached the finals in their respective events. Freshman Kristen Howell was the only one to capture her event, winning the Epee competition. She topped a list of 76 Epee competitors.
Sophomore Melissa Forsythe tied for third in Epee. Ferrera placed seventh.Four Foil fencers reached the finals. Freshman Melissa Parker finished second and Myles tied for third in a field of 66 Foilists.
Sophomore Nina Gernesova and freshman Meredith Bratton finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Two freshmen represented the Sabre fencers in the finals. Christie Griffith tied for third and Sara Haase finished eighth among 71 Sabre fencers.
Myles said she is excited for the season because of the talented freshmen.
“It’s a young team, but there is so much potential and I think we’re going to do really well,” Myles said. The Owls have a long history of qualifying for postseason play. They have extended their season 33 times in the last 34 years.
Myles said qualifying for the NCAA Championships is one of the team’s biggest goals this season.
Melissa DiPento can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.