- With the goal of having as many student-athletes advance to the NCAA Championships as possible, the 10th-ranked Temple fencing team competes Saturday, March 12 in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. The meet will take place at the Timothy Breidegam Field House at Moravian College, with foil and epee slated to start at 9 a.m. and sabre beginning at 11 a.m.
The Owls have the maximum 12 fencers competing, but all 17 team members met the NCAA criteria and were eligible for the meet. Overall, five Owls are seeded in the top 12 of their respective events.
"We definitely have some potential, but it's all about what you do on that particular day," said Temple head coach Nikki Franke
. "It's an extremely difficult tournament but I think we're well-prepared. We've had the toughest schedule of anybody all season and that's given us the confidence and the knowledge we need. I feel very positive in terms of how we've prepared the for this tournament."
Representing the epee squad will be senior Jessica Hall
, junior Alexandra Keft
and sophomore Safa Ibrahim
The foil squad will be represented by seniors Demi Antipas
and Fatima Largaespada
, junior Miranda Litzinger
and freshman Auset Muhammad
For the sabre squad, seniors Gloria Aguilar
and Petra Khan
will compete along with junior Victoria Suber
and freshmen Blessing Olaode
and Jessica Rockford
In 2014-15, Temple was represented at the NCAA Championships by Ibrahim and Largaespada, with the latter looking to cap her career with a fourth straight appearance.
The qualification for the NCAA Championship is based on a formula comprising a 60 percent weight on regional performance and 40 percent on regular-season meets. Regional champions for each weapon automatically advance, with remaining bids going to fencers based on performance and the region they compete in. The NCAA selections will be announced on March 15.
At the NCAA Championships, each weapon field will consist of the top 24 fencers from across the nation. For the regional meet, the 36 fencers in each weapon will compete until 12 remain, and those 12 will battle in a round robin final.
Of the 38 teams Temple faced in dual meets during the 2015-16 season, 15 of them were ranked higher than the Owls in the national poll. The strength of schedule factors into the at-large bids, and Coach Franke says that will work very well in the Owls' favor.
"We're just looking forward to them fencing their strongest," she said. "Everyone is very focused and we've had a good week of practice."Live Results