Feb. 26, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After an impressive 34-7 regular season dual meet record, seventh-ranked Northwestern heads back South Bend, Ind., for the 2009 Midwest Conference Championships Saturday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 1. The 'Cats have finished in the top three in each of the past 15 seasons, and are seeking their first conference championship since 2001.
After his fifth-straight 30-win season, head coach Laurie Schiller continues to inch closer to an exclusive club. He now boasts a career record of 980-412 in his 31 years at the helm of the Wildcat fencing program, and will look to become one of just a select few coaches in Division I to record 1,000 career victories early next year.
NU's epée squad has been lead by junior Christa French (Southlake, Texas/Carroll), who has posted a 54-12 record this season. French recently recorded her 200th career victory, and is sixth all-time among Wildcat epéeists with 213 wins. Kayley French (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) has provided a dangerous duo with her sister, going 45-22 on the year, with Joanna Niklinska (Granger, Ind./Penn) posting a 39-21 record. Senior Megan Ross (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel Area) has been a strength of the Wildcat team as well, winning 35 of her 42 duals.
Senior Sam Nemecek (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia) has continued to establish herself as one of the top fencers in NU history, as she enters the weekend with a team-best 65-9 record. She is second all-time in the program's history in victories with 392, and needs just 19 to surpass Jessica Florendo as the 'Cats all-time leader. Freshman Camille Provencal (St. Paul, Minn./Central) has been impressive in her collegiate debut, going 38-18, with fellow freshman Devynn Patterson (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) also cracking the 30-win plateau at 31-10. Junior Meredith Baskies (Lynnfield, Mass./Boston University Academy) is 148-60 in her Wildcat career after posting a 31-19 record through the regular season.
Junior Whitney White
(Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) has emerged as tops on the Wildcat sabre squad, posting a 49-27 record over the year and upping her career tally to 122-75. She has been complimented by junior Allie Keller's
(St. Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle Regional) 35 victories and sophomore Jill Mahen's
(Chester, N.J./Mendham) 32. Senior Adrienne Shon
(San Diego, Calif./Bishop's School) and freshman Annelise Eeman
(St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park) have each added notched 23 wins this season.
The Wildcats will be competing this weekend not just for a conference championship, but also to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional taking place Saturday, March 7, in Columbus Ohio. The 2009 NCAA Championships will be held March 19-22 in University Park, Pa.