Fencers to compete in NCAA Championships

Two of Temple’s fencers will join 142 competitors at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Freshman Safa Ibrahim and junior Fatima Largaespada were chosen by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee on Tuesday to compete March 19-22 at French Fieldhouse at Ohio State.

Ibrahim topped off her stellar season by finishing eighth last weekend in the Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. The epeeist now looks ahead to the national championships as she faces 23 other fencers in her squad.

After battling a back injury that kept her in limited action during the first half of the season, Largaespada is making her third appearance in the national meet. The foilist said she knew she would be selected after she earned a fourth-place ranking in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional competition last weekend.

“After my performance at regionals, I was really, really happy with the way I did,” Largaespada said. “If I would have done bad, I probably would have been on the list to stand by, but after I saw how I ranked during the season I thought, ‘OK, I can work with it. I know I can qualify again and I just have to focus.’”

Largaespada acknowledges that she still feels a bit of pain from the back injury, but she said it is not as bad as it used to be.

“I have been going to therapy,” Largaespada said. “I got MRIs done, so I tried to get better as soon as I could and it worked.”

The junior will compete against 23 of the best foilists in the nation, but Largaepada looks to accomplish a goal she had set in the beginning of the season.

“I hope to make the Top 15 at nationals,” Largaepada said. “I just have to stay focused.”

Round-robin competition will start off the tournament, in which the Top 4 finishers in each squad will face off in the semi-finals. The  winners will then compete for the title in each weapon class.

Owls defeat top ranked team at Northwestern University

At Northwestern University Multi-Meet on Feb. 1-2, the fencing team went 9-3, including a win against No. 5 Notre Dame 14-13. The Owls’ three losses were to No. 1 Princeton 17-10, No. 5 Ohio State 21-6 and No. 7 Northwestern 17-10.

The Owls went 4-2 on day one of the competition with wins over Tufts, Lawrence, Notre Dame and Wayne State. Against Tufts and Lawrence, foil went a combined 15-3. The two loses were to Northwestern and Ohio State.

Senior epee captain Chantal Montrose had a strong performance all weekend. She went 16-4 over the two day meet, including perfect performances against Notre Dame and Stanford. In her bout against Stanford, Montrose defeated Vivian Kong 5-3. Kong was a 2013 NCAA semifinalist.

On Sunday the Owls had two consecutive 26-1 victories over Detroit Mercy and California Tech. They followed up those dominant performances with 18-9 win over Stanford. The Owls then had another 26-1 victory, this time over Cleveland State and a 22-5 victory over UC San Diego. Temple finished the day with a 17-10 loss to Princeton. The Owls epee team defeated the Princeton epee team, which has an Olympic medalist and two members of the USA National team, 6-3.

Sophomore foil Fatima Largaespada also had a strong day. She defeated two Princeton fencers and tallied a 9-1 record on day two. Senior Tasia Ford, sophomore’s Jessica Hall and Petra Khan all went 2-1 against Notre Dame.

-Michael Guise

Three Owls will compete at Junior Olympic Fencing championships

This weekend four members of the women’s fencing team will have a chance to show their talent off at the national level.

Freshmen Demi Antipas, Jessica Hall, Petra Khan and Olivia Wynn will all be competing at the Junior Olympic Fencing championships. This weekend the four Owl competitors will not be competing against other schools, rather the fencers from across the country that fall in their age groups. The four freshmen are the only ones competing because of the age restrictions on the junior event.

Antipas and Wynn will compete in the foil event, Hall in epee and Khan in sabre. In the foil event Antipas and Wynn will compete in a bracket that is comprised of 160 competitors, Hall will compete with 181 competitors and Khan’s bracket has 133 entrants.

The event was not posted to the Owls’ schedule until just this week and will be held in Baltimore, MD.

Fencing to host Philadelphia Invitational

The women’s fencing team will is set to get back to action as they host the Philadelphia Invitational Saturday at the Student Pavilion. The invitational is hosted by Temple or Pennsylvania and will see the Owls compete against some of the best teams in the nation.

“It’s something that we host here in Philadelphia that started six or seven years ago,” Franke said. “We have Cornell coming down, North Carolina and Duke coming up so it’s a very good meet, we’ll have some real tough competition.”

The team will fence against six different squads in a team event where Franke says everyone has a little bit more emotion because they want to succeed not only for themselves, but for their teammates as opposed to an individual event.

“It’s much more fun, this is what college fencing is all about,” Franke said. “We use the individual tournaments really to prepare for the season, but now it’s all team competition which is really what we work for.”

Fencing team travels to Penn State

The ninth-ranked women’s fencing team will head to Penn State tomorrow for the Penn State Invitational which is sure to provide a great challenge for the team. Three of the five teams competing in the event (Penn State, Duke, Columbia) are ranked in the top ten in the nation; North Carolina, received votes in the most recent polls to crack the Top 10.

The Owls can really make a statement at Penn State; a good performance would surely lead to a nice climb in the national rankings with a good showing. Temple has not competed since Dec. 1 when they went 4-0 at the Vassar Invitation against Vassar, Sacred Heart, New York University and Pennsylvania.

Fencing competes in last tournament of fall

The fencing team will compete at the Vassar Invitational in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., tomorrow.

Along with host Vassar College, Temple’s fencers will compete against student-athletes from Penn State, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, Princeton, North Carolina, New York University and Sacred Heart.

Temple will have five competitors in the foil competition: freshman Demi Antipas, junior Epiphany Georges, freshman Fatima Largaespada, senior Mikayla Varadi, and freshman Olivia Wynn.

Georges is the best hope for a medal in this group. She won a silver medal at the Temple Open on Oct. 27, and placed fourth at the Penn State Open on Nov. 3. Varadi got the bronze at the Temple Open. Georges, Varadi, Antipas and Largaespada all made the semifinal in both tournaments so far.

In epee, the Owls will have four athletes: senior Jill Bratton, freshman Jessica Hall, junior Kimberly Howell and junior Chantal Montrose. Howell is the only medalist this year in this group, getting a bronze at the Temple Open. Only Bratton has made the semifinals in both tournaments.

Temple will have six entrants in the sabre competition: sophomore Emily Dodson, junior Tasia Ford, junior Andrea Haley, sophomore Tiki Kastor, freshman Petra Khan, and sophomore Lauren Rangel-Friedman.

Kastor is the most likely medalist from that group, having won the Owls’ only gold medal so far this year, at the Temple Open. She also finished sixth at the Penn State Open. Ford and Rangel-Friedman have made the semifinals in both tournaments, while Kastor joins Georges as the only Temple fencers to make the finals both times.

The meet kicks off at 10 a.m.

-Evan Cross

Fencing announces recruiting class

The fencing team will add five recruits to its roster, including three locals, one Oregon native and a Mexican native, for the 2012-13 season, it was announced in a press release Wednesday.

Demitria Antipas (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Jessica Hall (Parsippany, N.J.), Olivia Wynn (Somerville, N.J.), Petea Khan (Beaverton,Ore.) and Fatima Laragaespada (Puebla, Mexico) will join coach Nikki Franke’s squad this season.

“I am very happy with the quality of fencers we have joining our program this season,” Franke said in the press release.  “They are all hard workers and we’re looking forward to steady growth throughout their time here at Temple. They add considerable depth to our roster.”

Antipas, Laragaespada and Wynn will join the team as foilists, while Hall competes at epee and Khan at sabre fencer. The Owls finished last season No. 10 at the NCAA Championships and a 24-8 record overall.

The fencing season begins at home on Oct. 27 at the Temple Open.