Fencing: Northwestern ups the ante with critical home meet

Chris Johnson

The Northwestern fencing team will be looking for continued success this weekend when they host the Remenyik Open at the Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center.

The Wildcats opened their 2011-2012 season with a strong performance at the Burton Open on Oct. 2, capturing gold medals in all three weapons as well as silver medals in the sabre and foil.

Junior Dayana Sarkisova and seniors Devynn Patterson and Camille Provencal will lead the Cats in the foil Saturday. There are big expectations for Sarkisova this season after her sophomore campaign in which she posted a 165-26 overall record and received honorable mention All-American honors. Patterson was the best placed NU fencer in last year’s Remenyik Open in the foil with a silver medal. Provencal placed sixth and Sarkisova placed just two spots behind her.

Chloe Grainger and Alicia Gurrieri will battle for the top spot in the sabre Sunday. The juniors battled in the Burton Open final with Grainger edging Gurrieri 15-13.

In the epee, freshman Courtney Dumas figures to be a major contender in the competition Sunday after winning the epee at the Burton Open. Juniors Kate Cavanaugh and Kara Collins will also be strong competitors according to coach Laurie Schiller. Unfortunately for the Cats, Schiller said talented sophomore Dina Bazarbayeva will likely miss out on this weekend’s action due to a strained back.

With the event drawing top fencers from around the country, the Remenyik Open will be NU’s first big challenge of the season. It is a 2011-2012 USFA Regional Open Circuit tournament, meaning the top fencers will qualify for the 2012 Division 1A Summer Nationals.

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