One year later, fencing squad mirroring last season’s strong results

Matt Forman

Not much changes in one season. At least that has held true for Northwestern fencing.

After starting last season 16-0, the Wildcats traveled to New York City and went 3-3 in the NYU Duals. One season later, the Cats started 15-0 and faced the prospect of heading east. The result was the same – NU went 3-3 against the same teams in the same fashion.

Both times, the Cats went into the NYU Duals ranked sixth in the nation.

NU kicked off the dual-meet session with a 16-11 loss to Columbia, and followed it with a strong 18-9 win over Yale. Then the Cats fell to two top-ranked opponents, No. 2 Notre Dame (18-9) and No. 3 Ohio State (15-12). Following its two losses, NU rallied for commanding wins over Wayne State (26-1) and NYU (19-8).

Despite the losses to elite competition, NU showed it could compete with top-flight opponents, just like a season ago.

But maybe the similarities aren’t such a bad thing. Last year, coach Laurie Schiller’s squad finished the year seventh at the NCAA Championships, an impressive feat considering the unbalanced representation in the event.

The next chance the Cats have to compete against ranked opponents will come Saturday and Sunday at the Sports Pavilion and Aquatics Center in the second installment of the NU Duals. In mid-November, the Cats went 10-0 in the first session. Last year, NU went 10-1 in the event with its only loss coming at the hands of Ohio State, one of three ranked opponents it faced.

This year, the field has improved. The Cats will face five ranked teams: No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 8 Temple, No. 9 Pennsylvania and No. 10 Duke.