With the regular season now in the books for the Temple women's fencing team, the concentration now shifts to the postseason. On Saturday, the Owls will head to Swarthmore College to compete for the 85th Annual National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association Championship, which they have won the last 16 times.
Temple, who is ranked No.9 in the nation coming into the meet, finished regular season competition with an impressive 22-8 record. The Owls swept all seven NIWFA championship titles a year ago, including: Overall Team, Epee Squad, Foil Squad, Sabre Squad, Epee Individual, Foil Individual, Sabre Individual, and are looking to make it a 17th consecutive NIWFA Championship this weekend.
Eyes will be on juniors Epiphany Georges
and Chantal Montrose
due to the fact that they have won individual titles in foil and epee, respectively, in each of the previous two years.
The Owls are coming off a very strong outing at their own Temple Invitational. Last weekend after it honored seniors Jill Bratton
and Mikayla Varadi
, the Owls defeated No.11 Duke and pulled out a statement victory over No. 5 Penn State in the final round, after dropping close bouts to No. 2 2 Princeton and No. 6 St. John's.
In her senior farewell meet, Bratton, a 2012 NCAA Championship qualifier, led the Owls with her 8-4 record in epee last weekend.
Already this season, several Owls have competed against highly touted competition. Freshmen Demi Antipas
, Olivia Wynn
, Petra Khan
, Jessica Hall
and sophomore Lauren Rangel-Friedman
fenced at the US Fencing Junior Olympic Championships, a national event that brings together the best under 20 year old fencers from across the country.
Junior Kimberly Howell
has been a catalyst for the team, in particular for the epee squad, which led her to being named a College Fencing 360 Primetime Performer of the Week back on Jan. 30.
Following the NIWFA Championship, the Owls will head to Lafayette College next weekend for the NCAA Regional Championships.