Jan. 20, 2014
USFA January North American Cup
Virginia Beach Convention Center Virginia Beach, Va.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Nine members of Northwestern's fencing team spent the weekend on the East Coast participating in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) January North American Cup. 2013 NCAA All-America honoree Courtney Dumas was the top finisher for the Wildcats as she placed sixth in the Division I women's epée event on Sunday, Jan. 19.
Freshman Mandeep Bhinder was the first NU fencer in action when she took to the strips on Friday, Jan. 17 for the junior women's epée competition. Bhinder opened the day by posting six wins in her pool with a +20 indicator to earn the third seed for the direct elimination portion of the event. The Newburgh, N.Y., native was eliminated in the round of 32, but placed 17th in a talented field of 120 fencers.
The first Division I event for members of Northwestern's contingent came on Saturday, Jan. 18 with the women's sabre event. Three Wildcats, all freshmen, represented NU in the event. Alisha Gomez-Shah won four of her six pool bouts and picked up three more victories in direct elimination as the 30th overall seed. The Wayne, N.J., native was ousted by Emma Baratta who would go on to capture a bronze medal.
Northwestern's Cindy Oh also won four pool bouts before falling to Lena Johnson in the round of 64. Johnson finished eighth in the Division I women's sabre competition. Newcomer Julia Abelsky also competed for the 'Cats Saturday.
Later in the day, four Northwestern fencers battled in the junior women's foil event. Seeded 18th, Stephanie Chan advanced to the round of 32 before falling to eventual bronze medalist Mani Blow and placed 22nd overall. Fellow freshman Kayla Kelch also climbed the table to the round of 32 and finished 30th out of 119 fencers. Kimmy Fishman and Stella Pointeau each picked up a victory in their respective pools Saturday.
Bhinder was back on the strips Sunday morning, Jan. 19 for the Division I women's epée event and she was joined by teammate and two-time NCAA Championship qualifier Courtney Dumas. Dumas went undefeated in her pool, posting six wins with a +11 indicator, to earn the ninth seed in the highly skilled field. Bhinder picked up four pool wins, and like Dumas, cruised into the round of 32 of the direct elimination.
In the repechage from 32, Dumas and Bhinder were pitted against one another right away. Dumas picked up a 15-6 triumph before dropping an intense one-touch bout to eventual silver medalist Alina Ferdman, 15-14. Bhinder fell to Nicole Ameli, 15-9, but Dumas came back and ousted Ameli. Dumas won two more bouts before falling to bronze medalist Ashley Severson in the quarterfinals. Dumas finished sixth in the event.
The Wildcats wrapped up the North American Cup on Monday, Jan. 20 with both the Division I women's foil and junior women's sabre competitions. In the morning session, Fishman led the Wildcats by finishing 33rd out of 120 fencers in the Division I women's foil event. Fishman won five of her six pool bouts and advanced to the round of 64 Monday. Chan and Kelch combined to win five pool bouts in their final event of the North American Cup.
In the afternoon session, Oh was top finisher for Northwestern in the junior women's sabre event as she tied for 18th out of 92 fencers. The Allendale, N.J., native went undefeated in her pool and battled her way into the round of 32 before falling by a single touch to Eva Hinds. NU's Abelsky and Gomez-Shah both placed in the top half of the field as well.
Full results from the January North American Cup are available at the top of the page.
The Wildcats will get back into dual mode with perhaps their toughest slate of opponents to date. Northwestern will travel to the Big Apple, New York City, on Saturday, Jan. 25 for the NYU Duals. The following day, the 'Cats will be in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia for the Penn Duals.
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