Tiger women win 99 bouts to give Princeton its first NCAA championship
SAN ANTONIO -- The Princeton Tigers won their first NCAA fencing championship seven points ahead of Notre Dame on Sunday at Freeman Coliseum.
Princeton scored 182 points in the four-day men's and women's tournament, to 175 for Notre Dame. Penn State finished third with 163 points, while 2012 champion Ohio State came in at No. 4 (146 points).
St. John's (N.Y.) was fifth (139 points) and Harvard finished sixth (134 points). Columbia/Barnard was seventh (117 points) and Stanford completed the event in eighth place (111 points).
A runner-up to Ohio State last year in Columbus, Ohio, the Princeton Tigers were in second place (83 points) to Penn State (94 points) after the men's competition, and Notre Dame was third (77 points). But Princeton prevailed as the women's squad won 99 bouts (38 sabre, 35 epee and 26 foil). Notre Dame was close in the women's competition with 98 victories (40 foil, 33 epee and 24 sabre).
"It was tough to beat a team with three Olympians on the roster," said Princeton sixth-year head coach Zoltan Dudas of Notre Dame. "It was one one of the strongest fields I can recall. I think on the men's side, we stepped up a bit from last year. We wanted to stay as close as we could with the men's events. After that, we knew we could do something on the women's side. When women's sabre finished, there were 16 bouts remaining. We needed to win six or seven of them to clinch."
Notre Dame's Gerek Meinhardt competed in the men's foil in the Olympics and was in the NCAA semifinals.
The sabre competition went to Princeton's Eliza Stone, who defeated Anna Limbach of St. John's 15-10 in the final. Stone, a senior from Chicago, became only the second Princeton female to win an individual title. Eva Petschnigg took home the women's foil top prize in 2000. Stone finished with a 21-2 round-robin record, and Limbach was second at 18-5. Gracie Stone of Princeton (Eliza Stone's younger sister) and Gillian Litynski of North Carolina were also semifinalists.
Notre Dame senior Courtney Hurley of San Antonio won the epee championship by beating Olympic Games teammate Susannah Scanlan of Princeton 15-6. Hurley, the 2011 NCAA champion, scored the winning touch against Russia in the London Olympics, as the United States picked up the bronze medal. Vivian Kong of Stanford and Penn State's Margherita Guzzi Vincenti were semifinals competitors.
The foil title went to Notre Dame Olympian Lee Kiefer, a 15-8 winner against Jackie Dubrovich of Columbia/Barnard. Kiefer finished the round-robin event with an exemplary 22-1 record. Mona Shaito of Ohio State and Madison Zeiss of Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals.