Four top-ten teams awaiting Wildcats in two tournaments (Fencing)

nnie Martin

The Wildcats, ranked seventh in the nation, have only lost one dual-match this season – to No. 1 Notre Dame – and they’re determined not to let anyone else best them at the Penn Duals on Saturday and the NYU Duals on Sunday.

“My goal is to win all nine matches,” coach Laurie Schiller said. “But there’s at least five of those nine teams that I would consider to be serious threats to beating us. If we fence like we can fence, I think we’re a better team than any of them.”

Northwestern (12-1) will face No. 3 Columbia, No. 6 St. John’s, No. 8 Yale and No. 9 Penn as well as Cornell, Temple, Drew, New Jersey Institute of Technology and NYU.

“If we’re going to be a good team, if we want to consider ourselves a top-10 team, we need to beat all these (teams),” Schiller said. “If we come away with one loss, I’ll be pretty happy with that.”

Schiller said Penn will likely be the Cats’ first big challenge of the weekend. Although he said Penn has a better sabre team than NU, he felt the Cats’ epee and foil teams could defeat Penn’s. In addition, NU beat Columbia last year, but Schiller said two of Columbia’s top sabre fencers were at the World Cup during the match.

“Everybody’s going to have to have their game face on,” Schiller said. “They can’t get up and be comatose. One of the things that worries me in some of the performances last weekend (at the USFA North America Cup) is that some people weren’t ready. If you’re not ready to fence, you’re going to lose bouts.”

Schiller said five of the teams the Cats face this weekend are “strong,” two are “medium” and two are “weak.” Schiller also said having to travel farther than most of the other teams they face this weekend could work against NU.

“We’re definitely going to have to pull together as a team, really support each other, be really focused, and just do our best,” freshman Megan Ross said.

Reach Annie Martin at [email protected]