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    Wildcats Complete Day One of Midwest Fencing Competition

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Epeeist Sharon Sullivan placed third in the individual sabre competition.
    Epeeist Sharon Sullivan placed third in the individual sabre competition.

    Feb. 26, 2006

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Northwestern's women's fencing team is competing at the 2006 Midwest Fencing Championships this weekend in South Bend, Ind. Day one of the competition, which took place today, is individual performances. Day two is team competition. Notre Dame is the host school.

    In women's sabre, NU had five fencers seeded in the top-15, including two in the top-10. Senior Emily Pasternak led the way with a No. 2 seed, while junior Mai Vu was seeded sixth. Junior Sophie Eustis (11th), sophomore Gina Annunziato (14th) and Adrienne Shon (15th) rounded out the seeded Wildcat contingent.

    In pool play, Vu was one of six fencers to go a perfect 6-0, which earned her a five seed in the bracket of 16. Pasternak (5-1), Annunziato (5-1) and Eustis (5-1) earned the eighth, ninth and 10th seeds, respectively. Shon went 4-1 and missed the bracket of 16 by one spot. She tied for 17th. Not seeded in the pre-championship seeding, senior Morgan Engling finished 2-4 and tied for 24th.

    In the bracket of 16, Vu won her first two bouts--the second by forfeit--which earned her a tie for third place in the final individual sabre results. Pasternak and Annunziato faced off against one another in the first round, with Annunziato winning 15-13. Annunziato lost her next match and finished in seventh place. Pasternak finished in 10th place. Neither Eustis or Shon won their first match and finished 11th and 16, respectively. Engling placed 26th in the final individual results.

    In Northwestern's strongest weapon, junior Jessica Florendo and freshman Sam Nemecek were seeded Nos. 1 & 2 in the foil pre-championship seeding. Sophomore Natalie Wang was fifth and sister Christina Wang was 10th.



    Florendo, Nemecek and Natalie Wang all went 6-0 in pool play, while Christina Wang was 5-1. Nemecek earned the No. 3 seed in the bracket of 16, while Florendo was fourth, N. Wang fifth and C. Wang 13th.

    In the bracket of 16, Nemecek advanced to the championship bout only to fall to No. 1 seed Emilie Prot from Notre Dame. For her stellar performance, she finished second in the individual foil performances. Florendo won her first two bouts, finishing in a tie for third place. Florendo fenced C. Wang in the first round. The Wang sisters finished fifth (Natalie) and 13th (Christina), respectively.

    Epéeist Sharon Sullivan received the pre-championship No. 2 seed, while freshman Megan Ross was ninth and junior Courtney DuBois was 10th. Rounding out the Wildcat epée contingent was Sara Pecherek (13th), Sarah Gravlee (22nd), Gabrielle Aiuto (26th), Anastasia Usova (43rd) and Kellie Fry (45th).

    Sullivan was the only Wildcat to go a perfect 6-0 in pool play and for that she earned the No. 3 seed in the bracket of 16. Fry was 5-1 and a six seed, while Pecherek--also 5-1--earned the 11-seed. Ross was the ninth seed after going 4-1 in pool play. Pecherek and DuBois also were seeded in the top 16. Pecherek was 11th and DuBois 14th.

    In bracket competition, Sullivan was pitted against DuBois in the first round and Pecherek in the second. She won both bouts, but fell to the No. 2 seed Kaela Brendler of Ohio State in her third match. She ended the individual results in a tie for third place. Pecherek was the only other Wildcat to make it out of the first round. She finished in sixth place. Fry (11th), Ross (12th) and DuBois (15th) all finished in the top 15, while Aiuto (16th), Gravlee (21st) and Usova (33rd) rounded out the Wildcat epeeists.