NU falls to nation’s best at weekend duals

Dan Ryan

It is safe to say the foil squad has emerged as the most dominant force on Northwestern’s roster.

Behind the foil squad’s play, which went a combined 61-11, the Wildcats posted a 7-1 record at the Notre Dame Duals over the weekend, beating every opponent except the Fighting Irish. Despite a 5-4 performance by the foil squad, the team could not keep pace overall and fell to Notre Dame 18-9.

The team spent most of the week leading up to the duals focusing on the No. 1 Fighting Irish. Despite the 7-1 record, falling to them left the Cats feeling unfulfilled, team members said.

“I don’t know if I would call the weekend a success,” sophomore Chloe Grainger said.

Though NU breezed past seven of its eight opponents, Notre Dame was the one that really counted, coach Laurie Schiller said.

“We had eight meets but the key was Notre Dame,” Schiller said. “We crushed everyone but them, and I feel very good about those meets as everyone got a chance to fence on the team and we really showed our depth. I was happy to beat Notre Dame’s foil squad again but disappointed not to beat them overall, but they are No. 1 ranked and we fought them hard.”

NU opened the duals against Swarthmore and Lawrence, whom they beat 24-3 and 26-1.

After losing to Notre Dame in their third match, the Cats beat Air Force 20-7 before crushing Wayne State 22-5. A 27-0 shutout of Detroit and a 24-3 routing of Cleveland State rounded out the Cats’ near-perfect day.

After last weekend’s results, the foil squad now boasts a combined 191-34 record and a .880 winning percentage over the course of the Cats’ dual meet schedule. Even in losses, the squad has been a bright spot on the team all season.

“Our foil squad has a lot of experience and they work very well together,” Grainger said. “They pick up each other’s slack and they want it really bad.”

NU will host the Northwestern Duals next weekend and the team already has its bar set very high for the matches. Grainger said the Cats are looking to avenge two of this season’s previous losses.

“We could definitely go undefeated next weekend,” Grainger said. “The teams we’re focusing on are Temple, Ohio State and Princeton. And we have some comeback to do against Princeton and Ohio State.”

The Cats lost to the Tigers at last year’s NU invitational and to the Buckeyes at the NYU Invitational two weeks ago.

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