COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After three days of competition at the NCAA championships, Columbia has accumulated 136 victories to sit in first place. The six entrants from the top-ranked women’s squad amassed 55 triumphs on Saturday to add to the men’s 81 wins in the first two days at Ohio State’s French Field House.
Similar to the regular season, the Lions’ foil squad led the way with 24 victories, while Columbia’s saber and epee fencers turned in 17 wins and 14 wins, respectively.With just two rounds remaining, the Lions sit eight wins ahead of second-place Penn State who has notched 128 victories. Notre Dame, the lone other program with 12 entrants, lands nine points behind Columbia (127), while Princeton (127) and Ohio State (121) round out the top five.
Foil fencer Margaret Lu led all Lions on the strip as the junior charted 13 wins in 15 bouts with a plus-28 scoring index and 70 total touches record. Lu’s class- and weaponmate, Jackie Dubrovich, notched a 11-4 mark and 63 touches to sit fifth after the first day of fencing.
Notre Dame can't be counted out yet, as the Irish made up significant ground Saturday at the French Field House. The Irish are currently in third place with 127 points, a mere nine points away from field-leader Columbia's 136.
"Today we had incredible effort from everyone that participated. We competed and we had a tremendous crowd with lots of energy," Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said. "All we have to do is finish our work tomorrow. We have 12 matches against the Columbia girls, and we only have a nine-point difference with their team right now."
Kvaratskhelia added: "Tommorow, everyone just has to concentrate. It's been a long week already and everyone's tired and excited, and maybe a bit overwhelmed, but we trained for this and our training should come in handy and help us finish the job tomorrow."
The 2015 fencing NCAA championships resume Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET, with all three weapons starting simultaneously. The top four fencers in each class will advance to the afternoon semifinals, with the team champion decided on individual bout victories.