COLLEGE FENCING 360.com
contact: Pete LaFleur (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Harvard ... Women's Foil ... 5th-Yr. Sr. ... New York, New York)
(Columbia ... Women's Sabre ... Jr. ... Brookline, Massachusetts)
(Duke ... Women's Sabre ... Fr. ... Portland, Oregon)
NCAA Regional Honor Roll (honorable mention)
Jonathan Berkowsky (Penn, men's sabre, jr.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Peter French (Air Force, men's epee, jr.; Austin, Texas)
Andras Horanyi (Ohio State, men's foil, sr.; Boulder, Colorado)
Kelley Hurley (Notre Dame, women's epee, fr.; San Antonio, Texas)
Noam Mills (Harvard, women's epee, fr.; Kfar Saba, Israel)
Nicole Ross (Columbia, women's foil, so.; New York, New York)
Doris Willette (Penn State, women's foil, jr.; Lafayette, California)
Dagmara Wozniak (St. John's, women's sabre, jr.; Avenel, New Jersey)
Week of Jan. 19-25 – fencers of the week Daryl Homer (St. John's, MS, fr.) and Daria Schneider (Columbia, WS, jr.) ... honorable mention: Enzo Castellani (Notre Dame, MF, fr.), Andras Horanyi (Ohio State, MF, sr.), Ewa Nelip (ND, WE, so.) and Nicole Ross (COL, WF, so.)
Week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1 – fencers of the week Ewa Nelip (ND, WE, so. and Karol Kostka (ND, ME, sr.) ... honorable mention: (to be added)
Week of Feb. 2-8 – fencers of the week Noam Mills (Harvard, WF, fr.) and Jeff Spear (Columbia, MS, jr.) ... honorable mention: Jon Berkowsky (Penn, MS, jr.), Dan Cohen (Duke, MF, fr.), Lucille Jarry (Princeton, WF, fr.) and Caroline Vloka (Harvard, WS, fr.)
Week of Feb. 16-22 – fencers of the week Andrew Bielen (Harvard, MS, jr.) and Stephanie Aiuto (Columbia, WS, fr.) ... honorable mention: Sophie Courser (Vassar, WE, so.), Noam Mills (Harvard, WE, fr.), Robin Shin (MIT, WS, fr.) and Peter Souders (Boston College, MS, fr.)
Week of Feb. 23-March 1 – fencers of the week Courtney Hurley (Notre Dame, WE, fr.) and Andras Horanyi (Ohio State, MF, sr.) ... honorable mention: Nicole Ross (Columbia, WF, so.), Benji Ungar (Harvard, ME, 5th-yr. sr.), Caroline Vloka (Harvard, WS, fr.)
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Due to the strong number of female candidates, CollegeFencing360.com is honoring three women – Harvard foilist Emily Cross, along with sabreists Daria Schneider (Columbia) and Becca Ward (Duke) – as co-national fencers of the week (for the NCAA Regionsl weekend, March 7-8). There also is a second group of eight (honorable mention; listed above), with all 11 of these fencers (pictured in the right sidebar) comprising the first NCAA Regional Honor Roll, as selected by CF360. Note that there were plenty of candidates to select from – with victory and indicator totals, plus strength of opponents, playing a role in the selections.
(CF360 also plans to honor various fencers who rose to the occasion with clutch Regional performances while under pressure, due to their precarious seed location and the value that their results held for potential team success in the NCAA Championships).
The 11 fencers honored on this page include at least one from each weapon (led by three women's foilists and three women's sabreists, plus two women's epeeists). The fencers hail from nine different home states/foreign countries (many of them away from the traditional northeast corridor): New York (2), Texas (2), California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania – plus Israel. The 11 honorees include three freshman, one sophomore, five juniors, a senior and a fifth-year seniors.
Emily Cross (left)
The top-seeded CROSS (New York, N.Y.) dominated the women's foil field at the Northeast Regional, going 21-1 in her pools bouts with a +77 in total-point indicators (108-31) and a lowly average of 1.4 touches allowed in her bouts (all 5-touch). The 2008 U.S. Olympian (and '05 NCAA champion) went unbeaten in the first two rounds of pool bouts and 11-1 in the final pool of 12, with her only loss coming against Cornell's Jessica Tranquada (3-5). Cross – who finished atop the Ivy League round-robing standings two weeks earlier – won the Northeast Regional, after outdueling fellow elite fencers such as Columbia All-Americans Nicole Ross and Abby Caparros-Janto, MIT All-American Cordelia Link, and talented newcomers such as Yale's Katherine Pitt and Harvard teammate Shelby MacLeod.
Daria Schneider (left)
SCHNEIDER (Brookline, Mass.) also was top-seeded at the Northeast Regional, where she faced a "who's-who" containing most of the nation's upper echelon women's sabreists. Despite missing several recent college events (due to a number of factors), the 2007 NCAA champion (as a freshman) and '08 Olympic hopeful jumped right back into the college five-tough bout format – going undefeated through the three pools (20-0) while outscoring her opponents 100-40 and allowing 2.0 touches per bout. Schneider claimed the top spot in a deep women's sabre field that including her teammates Jackie Jacobson ('08 All-American) and newcomer Samantha Roberts, St. John's All-American Dagmara Wozniak ('08 U.S. Olympic team), and Harvard super-rookie Caroline Vloka (among others).
Becca Ward (blade raised)
WARD (Portland, Ore.) – who brought home bronze medals from the individual and team women's sabre events at the 2008 Olympic Games – turned in a near-perfect regular season for the Blue Devils, compiling a 53-2 record during Duke's dual meets. The elite freshman still was seeded behind two others (#3) at the Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, but responded by finishing atop a MA/S field that included the only two fencers who defeated her during the regular season (Penn State's Caity Thompson, a fellow natonal-team-caliber fencer, and Penn All-American Danielle Kamis). The top fencers who were doing battle at Drew University alongside Ward included two other premier freshman, in PSU's Monika Aksamit (also a national-teamer) and Penn's Dominika Franciskowicz.
(note: additional action photos of the fencers listed below may be added later.)
NCAA Regional Honor Roll member Jonathan Berkowsky, leader of Penn's strong men's sabre team, was seeded #2 at the MA/S Regional before going on to finish first. The junior All-American's regional opponents included several fellow NCAA Tournament, among them All-America teammate Andrew Bielen, Penn State's Daniel Bak ('08 NCAA runner-up), Princeton's John Stogin, North Carolina's Bobby Ziechmann and Duke's Peter Truszkowski – plus PSU top-level rookie Aleksander Ochocki (the Regional's top seed). The Philadelphia native earlier had finished third in the Ivy League Championships, after facing a similarly strong field (led by '08 NCAA champ Jeff Spear, of Columbia).
Peter French (blade extended)
Air Force junior men's epeeist Peter French (Austin, Texas) is heading to the NCAAs for the third time – and looking to repeat as an All-American – thanks to his clutch performance at the West Regional. French defeated his talented AFA teammate Daniel Trapani in the Regional semifinals, followed by a victory over Stanford freshman Kevin Mo (the 2008 Junior World Cup men's epee champion). Men's epee possibly was the deepest weapon at the NCAA Regional, with Stanford senior All-American Clayton Kenney rounding out a strong top-4 in that weapon. French – who received the NCAA's prestigious Sportsmanship Award in 2007-08 – is an impressive student-athlete and tremendous representative of collegiate fencing (CF360 hopes to feature him soon on the site).
Andras Horanyi (left)
Ohio State senior men's foilist Andras Horanyi (Boulder, Colo.) – the two-time defending NCAA champion – was named national fencer of the week the previous week, after winning the Midwest Fencing Conference title in dominant fashion. Horanyi reprised that success by claiming the Midwest Regional title (as #1 seed), after winning all 11 of his bouts (seven 5-touch pool matches and four 15-touch DE bouts) by a combined score of 110-46 (+64). His pool victories included a pair of wins over top Notre Dame fencers (vs. All-American Mark Kubik and talented freshman Enzo Castellani, both 5-3). He later nearly doubled up Castellani in the semifinals (15-8) and held off teammate Collin Sutter in a 15-12 title bout.
Courtney Hurley (left)
Notre Dame freshman women's epeeist Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) also was coming off a MFC tile and national fencer-of-the-week honors, and – like Hurley – went on to win the Midwest Regional as the top seed. Hurley – who narrowly missed claiming the only spot on the 2008 U.S. women'se pee Olympic "team" (her sister, ND junior Kelley Hurley, instead competed in Beijing – has made a seamless transition to collegiate fencing, with a 50-5 record and two postseason titles now under her belt. She won all nine of her Regional bouts (five pool, four DE) by a combined margin of 100-48 (+52), ending the day with a pair of 15-9 wins over her ND teammates – with a semifinal win over her sister (two-time All-American, '08 NCAA champ) and a final-bout showdown vs. sophomore All-American Ewa Nelip.
Noam Mills (left)
Harvard women's epeeist Noam Mills (Kfar Saba, Israel) likewise has proven to be one of the top freshmen in all of college fencing this year. The 2008 Olympian – who recently claimed the top spot in the Ivy League Round-Robin standings – won all but one of her Northeast Regional (21-1), with a 105-37 scoring margin (+68) that included an average of only 1.7 opponent touches in those five-touch bouts. Her only loss came in the second round of pools, against Harvard teammate Lisa Vastola (2-5). Mills then blitzed the final 12-fencer pool (11-0), defeating her All-America teammate Maria Larsson and numerous other top fencers – Columbia newcomer Neely Brandfield-Harvey, along with the St. John's duo of Tetya Novakovska and All-American Joanna Guy) – along the way.
Columbia sophomore All-Amercan Nicole Ross – who was seeded second at the Northweast Regional, behind her fellow New York City native Cross – matched that seed with a runner-up finish. Ross went 20-2 in the three rounds of pools, with an early loss to Yale's Valerie Makeeva before losing to Cross in the final round (both 2-5). She ended up +69 in the 22 bouts (103-34), allowing 1.5 touches per bout. Ross earlier had placed third in the Ivy League and then won the Intercollegiate Fencing Association (IFA) title, versus a field that did not include Cross.
Penn State junior Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) – the 2007 NCAA champion and member of the '08 U.S. Olympic silver-medal women's foil team, alongside Cross – claimed the 2009 Mid-Atlantic/South Regional title, with her only loss in that long day coming against Princeton's Rocky Rothernberg (in her final bout). The top-seeded Willette finished atop a regional field that included her PSU temmate Allison Glasser, Penn All-American Ilana Sinkin, and impressive newcomers Laura Paragano (Penn) and Lucille Jarry (Princeton).
St. John's junior women's sabreist Dagmara Wozniak (Avenel, N.J.) rounds out the honorees, after her runner-up finish among the first-class field at the Northeast Regional. A 2007 All-American and member of the '08 U.S. Olympic team, Wozniak quickly jumped back into the college fencing scene and earned the #2 seed into the regional. Her only loss in the three rounds of pools (19-1) came versus Columbia's Schneider (4-5, in the final 12-fencer pool) – with a +55 indicator total (99-44) and 2.2 touches allowed per bout.