Northwestern fencing foils competition

Dan Ryan

Last season’s Wildcat team was certainly a tough act to follow. During their ’09-’10 campaign, Northwestern posted a program record 45 dual meet wins during the season en route to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

But at last weekend’s UC San Diego West Invitational, NU opened up their dual meet schedule looking very much up to the challenge of matching last year’s success.

The Cats beat up on their competition, winning all of their dual meets to finish 5-0 on the day. The foil team carried NU, finishing the day with a commanding 44-1 overall record.

“The foil team did what I expected,” coach Laurie Schiller said. “They only lost one bout all weekend, and the other squads did well enough to win.”

The Cats looked sharp in their opening match as all three teams performed well. The foil team gave a preview of the performance to come, going 9-0, and the sabre and épée teams both posted an 8-1 showing as NU beat the hosting Tritons 25-2.

The Cats continued their strong play through the next two matches, beating Florida 18-9 before taking down Air Force 19-8. In both bouts, the foil demonstrated complete dominance, posting 9-0 records against their competition.

Highlighting the foil team were junior Devynn Patterson and sophomore Dayana Sarkisova, who both went undefeated for the tournament. Sarkisova recorded her 100th career win in the team’s first bout of the morning.

The foil team dropped its only matchup of the day in NU’s bout against Stanford, but the sabre team picked up the slack, posting an 8-1 record. The Cats won comfortably 20-7.

In their final match of the afternoon, the Cats blew out Cal Tech 23-4 to wrap up their day undefeated and build good momentum for the beginning of the dual meet season.

“Ordinarily we have some dual meets in the fall, and we didn’t this year,” Schiller said. “So it was important to get off on the right foot. It gets us into the right groove going forward.”

The team now travels to Dallas for the USFA North American Cup this weekend before jumping right back into its dual meet schedule with matches in New York and Haverford, Pa.

“We’re always ranked very highly, but the next meets we go to, starting in New York, will tell us if we’re going to be strong or not,” Schiller said. “It’ll be really tough competition, but I feel confident that we’ll do well.”

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