Fencing: Wildcats win Midwest Conference Championships


Daily file photo by Sean Su

A Northwestern fencer lunges toward her opponent. The Wildcats won the Midwest Conference Championship this weekend, the fourth such title of coach Laurie Schiller’s career.

Sophie Mann, Photo Editor


It was a gold medal weekend for the Wildcats.

After coming in second last year to Ohio State at the Midwest Conference Championships, No. 5 Northwestern edged out the No. 6 Buckeyes, 785-780, to earn the overall championship.

The Cats’ epee squad continued its dominating season by earning first place in its division, defeating Ohio State 5-3 in the final to capture the title and raise the team’s record to 45-3 on the season. NU also took the top three individual spots in the group, with senior Courtney Dumas winning the first Midwest Conference title in her career.

“It always feels great to do well in a competition,” Dumas said. “So winning the individual this weekend and, more importantly, the team winning the overall, feels like the perfect way to finish off my last conference championship of my collegiate career.”

On top of their epee exploits, the Cats finished first in saber and third in foil to secure the overall title. The saber team defeated the Buckeyes 5-3 in another head-to-head battle for first between the tournament’s top two teams, and junior Alisha Gomez-Shah captured first place individually in the division.

In total, 10 NU fencers earned all-conference honors by finishing in the top-eight individually in their divisions, while seven more earned honorable mentions.

With the victory, coach Laurie Schiller took home his fourth career conference title in his final season at the helm of NU. Schiller said the team fenced well because of its top-to-bottom preparation.

“In the early rounds, we used some of the kids who aren’t starters, and the kids that needed to fence, the stronger ones, were rested and ready to go later in the meet,” Schiller said.

Last week, Schiller said the team has been taking on one goal at a time throughout the season, and winning the conference title is just the latest accomplishment in an impressive season thus far. With two weeks of rest ahead, NU will look to carry this momentum into the upcoming NCAA Midwest Regionals.

Schiller said he believes NU will go on to do well if it displays the form that pushed it past its conference rivals.

“This has been the goal all year to move on one goal at a time; now we move on to regionals and NCAA Finals,” Schiller said. “This year, everybody is prepared to fence.”

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