During this holiday week, Temple Athletics will share stories of siblings playing for their respective owl teams. This is the sixth in a six-part series.
Ask any Temple swordsman, past or present, and they’ll tell you their teammates are like sisters. But what is special about the Novoseltseva is that they are really sisters. Siblings aren’t new to Temple fencing, with the program enjoying a long tradition of having sisters on the roster, and Liza and Anna are the latest pair of sisters to represent Cherry and White on the strip. .
The sisters have practiced fencing for 13 years, since Liza was six and Anna five, training together at the same club in Michigan and competing in the same tournaments. So when the time came for older sister Liza to start looking for universities, she knew they had to end up in one place.
“We are very close and not many people have that connection,” said Liza. “So when I first got to Temple I knew I had to convince Anna to come because I liked it so much here. I wanted us to go to the same school because we did fencing. together for our entire lives and it would be weird to compete against each other. “
Luckily for the couple, Anna also fell in love with Temple.
“I feel like we’re a small team so there was no way I could compete with her,” said Anna. “I think we’re better together than apart. I was watching Temple when it was my turn to think about college, so after hearing what Liza said about the team and coming here myself, I ‘fell in love with it. ”
Liza’s first year was difficult for the couple, as it was the first time they had gone their separate ways. Anna was finishing her final year in Michigan, a 12-hour drive from Philadelphia.
“My freshman year was the first time we were apart, so we were doing FaceTime almost every day,” Liza said. “Being physically distant was difficult, but we always kept in touch.”
But once Anna got to North Broad, the sisters made up for lost time.
“We do pretty much everything together. We have lunch and we’re always in each other’s dorms, and we’re together when we practice and on weekends. In fact, we signed up for a class together next semester.” Liza said with a laugh. .
And now that the two are competing together again, they have a promising college career ahead of them. The sisters set the tone for their time as Owls early on, with Liza finishing 13th at the NCAA Championships in her first season at Temple and Anna leading the florists with a 13th place finish at the Temple Open in her Cherry and White debut. .
“When I’m on the Strip and looking back, I like knowing that I have him by my side to cheer me on,” Anna said.
Liza echoed Anna’s sentiment, recalling one of her favorite memories of competing together.
“We were at a tournament and I was down 44-38,” she said. “I looked behind me and Anna was screaming with all her might to encourage me. It was so funny to see, and when I finally won 45-44 it was amazing to have her there.”
And once the girls are done with fencing and lay down their guns, their plan is to stay as close as they are now. They want to go to the same PA school in Michigan, and maybe even live together for the first time. Anna’s final season on Broad Street will be tough without Liza, but she knows she will have her other sisters there to support her.
“It will be a little different when Liza graduates, but it’s only a year so I don’t think it will be too sad,” she said. “I still have the support of the team so that will definitely help me. I will lose a little part of me, but I will always have the team behind me.”
The Novoseltseva sisters spent two and a half years together at Cherry and White, and the future is bright for both.