Fencing: Northwestern to face No. 1 Princeton on home turf

Abbey Chase, Reporter

For the first time in 2013, the competition will be coming to Northwestern.

At the NU Duals this weekend, the Wildcats will get the chance to compete in front of their home crowd against a group of the country’s best teams, including No. 1 Princeton.

Last week’s competition took the Cats to the East Coast, where they fell short of taking out any of their higher-ranked competitors. NU will meet No. 4 Ohio State again in its third match on Saturday and hopes to reverse last week’s 18-9 loss.

“Especially against Ohio State, there were some bouts that could have been turned around on just one touch and the result would have been different,” coach Laurie Schiller said of last week’s dual meet.

Sunday will feature the ultimate test, a contest against No. 1 Princeton. The Tigers come in on a 20 dual-match winning streak that stretches back to last season. Though they have defeated the Cats the last three times they’ve met, Princeton has had to fight to take out NU every time, winning by a margin of no more than seven bouts.

This weekend will also serve as the final home meet for the team’s eight seniors, who will be honored for their years of competition on Sunday.

“It didn’t really hit me until last (Sunday) night when we got back to campus and I start looking forward to the next competition, and I realized it would be the last time I’m fencing here,” senior Dayana Sarkisova said. “It’s definitely emotional just because you take for granted that you’ll be back next year but it’s the last time. I’m just glad I can have one more go in front of my friends and my family.”

Heading into the weekend, the Cats are buoyed by the recent success of Courtney Dumas. The sophomore epeeist was named CollegeFencing360.com’s Primetime Performer of the Week following her 25 individual victories at last week’s competition.

“It was really great,” Dumas said. “Actually I was sitting in class and one of my teammates told me, and I didn’t even know until late (Wednesday). It was really a surprise, and I’m really excited. It’s a great honor, and I’m just really looking forward to this weekend to better my performance from last weekend.”