Fencing: Northwestern puts together strong showing at Remenyik Open to open season


Daily file photo by Sean Su

A Northwestern fencer lunges to score a touch. The Wildcats put together a strong showing at the Remenyik Open, their first tournament under coach Zach Moss.

Jonah Dylan, Reporter


Northwestern’s longtime coach Laurie Schiller retired last spring. If the first tournament without him is any indication, the Wildcats seem to be in good hands.

NU started its first season under new coach Zach Moss on the right foot at the Remenyik Open over the weekend. Highlighted by senior Cindy Oh’s third-place finish, the Cats had seven fencers finish in the top nine of the senior women’s foil event, while senior Stella Pointeau finished second in foil to lead the way for NU.

Freshman Pauline Hamilton finished fifth in senior epee and won the junior epee competition in her collegiate debut. Freshman Aahana Chatterjee and sophomore Ella Lombard finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in junior epee.

Although last weekend’s tournament was an individual competition, Pointeau said she was happy with the team’s performance.

“Everyone just wanted to do their best to start out the season, and as a team it really reflected that we have prepared well for it,” Pointeau said. “We were all very focused, wanted to do our best and start the season right and our results reflected that.”

In Schiller’s 38 years, the team won four Midwest Conference titles, including last season. Schiller finished his career with 1,261 wins and 11 Midwest Conference Coach of the Year awards.

That past success has set a high bar for the program. The Cats have high expectations coming into the 2016-2017 season after a campaign that ended with NU seventh in the CollegeFencing360.com ranking.

Oh said she knows there are high expectations, both from the team itself and from other teams across the country.

“We’ve been working really, really hard, and our focus has been there,” Oh said. “As long as we continue this and don’t give up, we can be better than last year.”

Pointeau said although the season is still young, the team has already responded well to the changes Moss has made. She said Moss has worked to diversify practices and apply athlete feedback to training.

“He’s trying to rebuild the whole team culture, which has worked really well so far,” Pointeau said. “He just wants us to try different things.”

Oh agreed that Moss’ coaching style has worked for the team so far. She said the upperclassmen are already on board with what he’s trying to do, and she expects the transition between coaches to be very smooth.

During her sophomore year, Oh finished 10th at 2015 NCAA Championships in women’s saber. She said her goal is to get back to that point and compete on a national stage.

Both Oh and Pointeau said they want to take time to enjoy their final year fencing at NU.

“It’s my last year fencing at Northwestern,” Pointeau said. “I just want to have as much fun as possible and really be there for my team and help my team win the championship again.”

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