Fencers finish 5-1, drop dual to Temple

Tim Orland

When senior foilist Maggie Kebrdle stepped up to the strip late Saturday afternoon in the NU Invite at Patten Gym, she was trying to complete a miraculous comeback. The Northwestern women’s foil squad had won five straight bouts to square the dual with Temple at 13 wins apiece.

Kebrdle needed a victory in the dual’s 27th and final bout to give NU a team victory.

Several minutes earlier, the Wildcats’ sabre squad had completed a disappointing 2-7 stretch, placing the pressure firmly on the shoulders of the foilists to pull out a win.

With the other weapons already finished, both teams congregated around the foil strip to watch the final bout.

Then, as time ran out, Kebrdle fell 4-3 to Nerita Brumell, giving the Owls a 14-13 win.

“I tried not to think about (the pressure),” Kebrdle said. “At that point, every bout was the last bout. The bout I had before that, I was in the same position.”

With the loss, NU dropped a dual in its annual home event for the first time since 1999.

The loss to Temple followed convincing wins over Lawrence and Johns Hopkins. Sunday, the Cats rebounded with wins over Cleveland State, Farleigh-Dixon and North Carolinato finish the meet with a 5-1 mark.

“We fenced not up to the capabilities that we can fence,” NU head coach Laurie Schiller said. “The sabre team did terribly. They just didn’t fence well. We learned that you can lose to people.”

The ep