Fencing: Northwestern prepares for two top-10 opponents at Penn Duals


Daily file photo by Sean Su

A Northwestern fencer duels her opponent. The Wildcats’ matchup in Philadelphia this weekend will be difficult as NU faces two top-10 teams.

Sophie Mann, Photo Editor


After two weeks of easier opponents, Northwestern will head to Philadelphia this weekend and face tougher competition at Penn Duals.

This past weekend was a stellar one for the No. 5 Wildcats, as they came in first in two of three categories. At Penn, however, the team will go head-to-head with two top-10 teams in No. 9 Penn and No. 10 Temple.

Coach Laurie Schiller said the increased difficulty of competition and the possible travel restrictions due to the upcoming snowstorm on the East Coast will pose serious challenges for the team.

“We have two matches coming up, one that we may be buried in snow,” Schiller said, with a laugh. “Assuming we get there, we have two top-10 teams and three lesser teams, so we’re working toward that.”

But the team has more to worry about than the weather. Four of Temple’s fencers finished in the top 16 at the North American Cup. Additionally, freshman Blessing Olaode finished in the top 50 and Penn sophomore Arabella Uhry finished in the top 25 for sabre, the category NU struggled with the most in San Diego last week.

The Quakers are also coming off four wins at the Penn State Duals this past weekend.

Northwestern junior Mandeep Bhinder said it is important for the team to focus on practicing and learning more about their opponents.

“We have to better understand who we’re fencing,” Bhinder said. “The level of difficulty from this (past) weekend and next weekend are totally different and we have to adjust our mindsets.”

Bhinder added the team’s performance this past weekend is a good indicator for the rest of the quarter and the next few weekends should prove fruitful for the Cats.

“We didn’t lose any duals we shouldn’t have,” Bhinder said. “We’re prepared.”

This headline was updated for clarity at 1:05 a.m.

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