PHILADELPHIA - Collegiate competition begins this weekend for the nationally ranked Temple fencing team, as the Owls head to Fairfield, Conn. for the Sacred Heart Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 2. It's the first of six dual meets on the slate for Temple in 2018-19.
> Temple will face four opponents, starting at noon against NYU. Up next is powerhouse Harvard, followed by Vassar and finally host Sacred Heart.
> Harvard was ranked fifth at the end of last season, and is one of the few top programs the Owls will face only once in 2018-19.
> Temple faced all four teams at the same time last year in a meet hosted by Vassar, defeating all of them including edging Harvard, 14-13.
> The Owls have two individual meets under their belts, having hosted the Temple Open on Oct. 27 and traveling to the Penn State Open on Nov. 3.
> Junior Malia Hee
captured the sabre title at Penn State after being the runner-up at the Temple Open. All five members of the sabre squad placed in the top 12 at the home meet, with team captain and squad leader Blessing Olaode
> Olaode's fellow squad leaders are senior Auset Muhammad
(foil) and senior Fiona Fong
> Head coach Dr. Nikki Franke
is in her 47th season with the Owls, and earned the 800th win of her career in February of 2018.
> Temple was ranked 10th in the final poll of the 2017-18 season. The Owls have been ranked as high as sixth within the last two years.
> "I think we're ready. We're very excited to finally have a dual match, especially for our first-years to see what that's all about. Everyone came back with really good energy from Thanksgiving break. They're anxious to get into competition." - Coach Franke