Back in January, the Blue Devils could not hit the road to compete in their second tournament of their spring season when Winter Storm Jonas interfered.

But with weather conditions more promising this weekend, the Blue Devils will travel 400 miles for the rescheduled Philadelphia Invitational.

With the ACC Championship on the horizon, 20 Duke fencers will participate in Sunday's event at the Dave Micahnik Fencing Center in Philadelphia. The one-day tournament will host eight schools, including Pennsylvania—which boasts the nation's No. 3 men’s squad and No. 8 women’s team—Johns Hopkins and Cornell.

“This weekend is going to be tough because it’s a free weekend and some people are not able to go. But the people who will be there are going to fence a lot,” head coach Alex Beguinet told “We used to have the weekend off before the ACC [tournament] but now we’ll have more practice, more bouting, more competition, more awareness.”

With a 42-15 record, sophomore saber Pascual di Tella will lead the No. 9 men’s team into the weekend's action, joined in his category by the duo of senior Charles Copti and sophomore Peter Yang, who have combined for 71 wins this season. Three Blue Devils—freshman Bryn Hammarberg and sophomores Dean Ischiropoulos and Dakota Nollner—will compete in the epee section, and foils Jan Maceczek and Ethan Yu will look to reach the 30-victory mark in Philadelphia.

For the women’s squad, freshman foil Kristen Coury has stolen the spotlight after becoming the first Blue Devil to clinch 40 individual wins in the Duke Meet Feb. 7. The trio of Julia Lee, Samantha Lee and Cathy Chi—who have registered 72 wins between them—will join Coury in the foil competition. Sabers Jennifer Ling and Haley Fisher own ledgers of 39-19 and 38-10, respectively, and newcomers Bridget Wallace, Vivian Wang and Claudia Wrampelmeier will participate in the epee category.

 “[This weekend I will focus] on the mental part of the game, definitely,” di Tella told “The ACC is a very long tournament with many individual bouts so this weekend, I’ll focus on every single touch and not giving any points away.”

di Tella praised his weapon mates as well, especially Yang, who earned ACC Male Fencer of the Week honors Feb. 3 after posting a 25-5 record at the Northwestern Duals.

“I don’t think many people have won 25 bouts in a single weekend ever. That’s unheard of and is really impressive,” di Tella said.

With some of his fencers suffering from colds and other ailments, Beguinet said the Blue Devils will look to get healthy before starting their preparation for the ACC tournament—a two-day championship beginning Saturday.

“We have many people being sick, coughing, with sore throat. So it’s going to be tough to be in shape [for the ACC championships]” Beguinet said. “For the ACC, we’ll have a strong contingent if nobody’s sick. But some of them will not go to competition this weekend. But what can you do? It has to be this way.”