Northwestern found solace on the West Coast, as the team performed well in the Western Invitational this weekend.
The Wildcats ranked first in both epee and foil and third in the sabre, showing dominance over teams including UC-San Diego, Stanford and Vassar.
Prior to the tournament, coach Laurie Schiller said he thought the team would have a relatively easy weekend out West in preparation for its dual in Philadelphia.
“This meet is a good match to get back into dual meets,” Schiller said. “UC-San Diego is very good and actually beat us. Overall, the team sat pretty well. We fenced a number of people we wouldn’t normally consider starters.”
Junior Mandeep Bhinder had a strong outing, going undefeated in all of her duals. This isn’t the first time Bhinder won every matchup in a tournament: During the 2014-2015 season, she went undefeated at both the first NU Duals and at the Duke Duals.
Schiller said winning is going to get more difficult following the Western Invitational.
“These schools are not, I don’t think, the same level that we are,” she said. “Knowing that, I can stay focused and beat the schools I need to beat and maintain the level of performance even though they may not be as good is good to know.”
The weekend essentially functioned as a warm-up for the team, as the Cats don’t have time to get too comfortable with duals against Penn and Notre Dame up next. But with a strong showing from the weekend to build on, Bhinder said the team feels prepared for the upcoming challenges.
“It’s a good indicator that we’re still on track from the Fall Quarter,” Bhinder said. “I’m really excited for the rest of the quarter.”
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