Fencing: Cats finish season strongly

Dan Ryan

Dayana Sarkisova called it.

Last week, the sophomore predicted precisely how the Wildcats would fare at the Northwestern Duals on Saturday.

“The team will definitely go undefeated next weekend, and that’s our goal,” Sarkisova said. “It’s not one of our more serious competitions. It’s just a way to wrap up the season.”

The Cats backed Sarkisova up, running the table for a 10-0 record and crushing its competition in the process last weekend. NU reached at least 21 points in every match.

Indiana gave NU its biggest challenge of the day but finished 15 points behind NU by the end of the match. The Cats recorded back-to-back blankings of Lawrence and Wisconsin to cap a dominant performance.

“It was a good way to finish up the season,” Sarkisova said. “It was nice because not only did we win all our matches, but it was at home. It was more relaxing.”

It was relaxing enough to allow everyone on NU’s roster to see action.

“The weekend went very well,” coach Laurie Schiller said. “We beat all the teams easily and gave everyone a chance to get bouts.”

The Cats have been on something of a tear lately, finishing off the regular season with 14-straight wins. At 41-6, the Cats put together their second best dual meet record in program history, only behind their dominant 45-6 season in 2009-10.

Despite the slight drop-off from last year’s performance, Sarkisova said the team is still pleased with the season’s trajectory.

“There’s really not too much we could have done better,” Sarkisova said. “Our team is really good at giving it our all and, when we fall short, at evaluating what we did wrong.”

The Cats’ main focus now will be winning its conference championship, something they have not done since 2001. The Midwest Conference Championships will take place March 5-6, and Sarkisova said she believes the team will make its mark.

“I’m looking forward to a successful March,” Sarkisova said. “We have a great bunch of girls, and we’re all really excited. We have a lot of built up energy, and our chances of winning conference are really good. I know it hasn’t been done in a really long time, but I would be really disappointed if we didn’t.”