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Adam Levin | NCAA.com | March 24, 2016

Columbia holds 10-point lead after Day 1 of fencing championships

WALTHAM, Mass. – Defending champions Columbia University rode outstanding foil fencing to take a 10-point lead after Day 1 of the 2016 NCAA Fencing Championships at Brandeis University’s Gosman Athletic Center today.

In foil action, the Lions dominated, with senior Jackie Dubrovich and junior Sarah Taffel each going 14-1 in the first three rounds. Dubrovich, who finished seventh last year but earned silver as a freshman in 2013 and bronze as a sophomore in 2014, suffered her only loss to teammate Taffel (3-2) and owned a plus-49 indicated through 15 bouts. Taffel  (15th place in 2014) picked up her lone loss to Marta Hausman of St. John’s, and she enjoyed a plus-41 indicator.

Sabrina Massialas of Notre Dame and Eleanor Harvey of Ohio State each sit just behind the two leaders at 13-2. Massialas has a plus-14 indicator, with losses to Katarzyna Lachman of Wayne State and MacKenzie Lawrence of Harvard,  while Harvey is at plus-36 having lost to Massialas (4-3) and Mary McElwee of Air Force. Dubrovich and Taffel will face Massialas and Harvey tomorrow.

MORE: All fencing championship participants

Epee matches saw Princeton freshman Charlene Liu in the lead after Day with a 12-3 record, while junior Jessie Gottesman-Radanovich of Penn State was 11-4 for second place. A trio was right behind them at 10-5: Isabella Barna of Duke, Catherine Lee of Notre Dame and Eugenia Falqui of Ohio State. Liu’s three losses came to Barna (4-3), Renee Bichette of Boston College (5-4) and Veronika Zuikova of St. John’s (5-3). She defeated Gottesman-Radanovich (5-4) and Falqui (5-3), making her 2-1 against her nearest competitors - she will meet Lee tomorrow.

In sabre action, Harvard senior and 2014 champion Adrienne Jarocki led the way with a 12-3 record and a plus-34 indicator. She is one match ahead of Princeton senior Gracie Stone (3rd in 2013 and 2014, 8th place last year) and Columbia sophomore Lena Johnson (9th in 2015). Jarocki defeated Stone handily, 5-1, and will meet Johnson tomorrow. Jarocki also defeated Notre Dame’s Francesca Russo, 5-1, in a rematch of their semifinal bout from 2015 that was won by Russo, 15-12. Jarocki’s defeats today came at the hands of two Penn State fencers, Kathryn Charpin and Teodora Kakhiani and Carly Weber-Levine of Stanford.

In the final Day One team standings, defending champion Columbia owns a 10-point lead over second-place Notre Dame, 64-54, on the strength of their 28 foil points. Princeton, which is leading in the sabre and epee rankings with 20 points in each, is right behind in third with 53, while Ohio State (50) and St. John’s (49) are right behind.

Action continues tomorrow at 9 a.m., with the semifinal and final rounds expected to begin at 1:30 p.m.


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