WALTHAM, Mass. – The second day of action at the NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships saw three women's titles handed out, including one repeat champion from a local source, in the Gosman Athletic Center on the campus of Brandeis University today.
Harvard University junior Adrienne Jarocki earned her second career title in the sabre competition. The 2014 champion as a freshman who lost in the semifinals last year, she advanced to the finals with a 15-9 win over Leanne Singleton-Comfort of UC-San Diego. Jarocki's opponent in the all-Ivy League final was junior Gracie Stone of Princeton University, who defeated Mathilda Taharo of St. John's University, 15-8 in the semifinals.
In the championship match, which featured the top two seeds, Jarocki got out to a 4-2 lead. Stone answered with a 4-1 run to go ahead, 6-5, but Jarocki scored the final three points of the first period to take an 8-6 lead. Jarocki was ahead, 10-7, before Stone recorded three in a row to even the match at five. Jarocki answered with the final five touches of the match to earn a 15-10 victory and her second championship. Jarocki joins Sada Jacobson (Yale 2000-01) and Rebecca Ward (Duke, 2011-12) as two-time NCAA women's sabre champions.
"Words can't describe what I'm feeling," Jarocki said. "Winning this championship was even sweeter because it shows I can persevere."
The foil competition featured a pair of dramatic matches for Columbia University senior Jackie Dubrovich. Runner-up in 2013 and a bronze medalist in 2014, Dubrovich made it back to the championship match as the top seed, going 21-2 in the round robin. She met junior Alanna Goldie of Ohio State in the first semifinal. The two traded touches for most of the bout, with Goldie taking a lead and Dubrovich answering each time. Goldie was ahead 11-9 before a late touch in the second period made it 11-10 headed to the final three minutes. Goldie then scored the first two touches of the third to take a 13-10 lead, but Dubrovich scored three in a row to knot the score at 13-all.
Goldie got within one point of the finals by scoring while on the ground under attack, but Dubrovich landed a touch around her back to get to 14-14, and then registered the winning touch while her opponent was down to take the dramatic 15-14 victory.
Meanwhile, in the second semifinal, another OSU junior, Eleanor Harvey, knocked off freshman Sabrina Massialas of Notre Dame. Harvey controlled the match, outscoring Massialas 8-4 in the final period to take a 15-9 victory.
Harvey was one of only two fencers to defeat Dubrovich in the round robin. The two felt each other out in the first three-minute period, as no touches were recorded. Harvey jumped out to a 2-0 lead within 30 seconds of the first period and pushed her lead to 5-0 before Dubrovich got on the board. Harvey took a 7-2 lead into the third period, but Dubrovich quickly closed the gap with the first four points to get within 7-6. Harvey stopped the momentum, but Dubrovich was able to tie the score at 9 and again at 10 with less than 30 seconds to play. Harvey went back ahead with two quick touches, and with Dubrovich forced to be the aggressor, Harvey scored the final five touches to win the match, 15-10. In the process, she became the first Ohio State foil champion since Yelena Kalina in 1997.
"I wasn't expecting this," Harvey said after the bout. "I've had a hard season. It's nice to feel I have my fencing identity."
Epee action saw Penn State junior Jessie Gottesman-Radanovich face off against Princeton freshman Charlene Liu, the top seed who went 20-3 in the round robin. Radanovich made it to the finals with a 15-12 win over Columbia's Mason Speta, while Liu ran out the clock with a 13-8 win over Ohio State's Eugenia Falqui. Liu defeated Radanovich, 4-2, in the round robin, but the Penn State fencer was literally able to keep Liu at arm's length in the championship match, using a distinct height advantage to earn an early 4-3 lead that she was able to maintain throughout. The duo recorded a pair of double touches late that gave Radanovich a 13-9 lead, and she closed it out 15-10 to earn Penn State's seventh women's epee title and first since 2010.
In the team standings at the end of the women's competition, defending champions Columbia own a slim 86-84 lead over Notre Dame. Princeton sits just behind in third place with 82 points. Harvey and Goldie combined for 40 points in foil for Ohio State, which ranks in fourth place with 76 despite competing with five women total, one fewer than the maximum.
Action resumes tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with the start of men's action.