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    Wildcats Aim At Midwest Fencing Conference Crown

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Alicia Gurrieri won the individual sabre title at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships in 2010.
    Alicia Gurrieri won the individual sabre title at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships in 2010.

    March 1, 2012

    2012 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships
    Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4
    Joyce Center Fieldhouse
    South Bend, Ind. • All Day

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern seeks to capture its first Midwest Fencing Conference championship since 2001 when it travels to South Bend, Ind. this weekend to take on the likes of Notre Dame, Ohio State and a host of other top-notch opponents from around the region.

    The Wildcats have not captured the team title at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships since 2001 when they won their third consecutive crown. That does not mean that Northwestern head coach Laurie Schiller's squads have not had successful runs. The 'Cats have finished no lower than third in every edition since. In 2007, NU's foil squad won a weapon title and as a freshman in 2010, Alicia Gurrieri (Medford, N.J./Moorestown Friends) captured an individual weapon title in sabre.

    Northwestern enters the competition this weekend with a 36-7 record in dual matches in 2012. The 'Cats captured the Western Invitational championship by beating six teams by a combined score of 153-9 at Air Force to start the year. This past weekend at the U.S. Squad Collegiate Championships in New York City, the epée team won a silver medal and the foil and sabre squads earned bronze medals to help the Wildcats to a second-place finish overall.

    Individually, several returning stalwarts and promising newcomers produced eye-popping results. Chloe Grainger (Decatur, Ga./Decatur) paced Northwestern with 89 wins in 2012. The junior's total accounted for 29 percent of the sabre squad's win tally this season. Senior Annelise Eeman (St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park) notched 72 triumphs, while Gurrieri, the squad captain, won 57 times.



    The foilists won 326 bouts this season, most of the three squads. Two-time All-American Dayana Sarkisova (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) won 70 times against only five losses in 2012. The junior owns a winning percentage of .933 for the season and a career mark of .850 (267-47); Sarkisova's career winning percentage currently ranks third all-time in Northwestern annals.

    Devynn Patterson (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt), who owns the most career wins of current 'Cat with 276, found herself in the win column 54 times this season, while team captain Camille Provencal (St. Paul, Minn./Central) tallied 45 victories. Both Patterson and Provencal are seniors and will be participating in their final conference championship meet this weekend.

    Northwestern's epée group has also enjoyed a prosperous winter. The squad won 319 bouts led by squad captain Kate Cavanaugh's (Milwaukee, Wis./Nicolet) 70 wins. Her final win against Minnesota during the Northwestern Duals on Feb. 11 was the 200th of her career.

    Freshman Courtney Dumas (Cleveland, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) has enjoyed a phenomenal freshman campaign with 69 wins of her own. Kendrick Mooney (Arcadia, Calif./Arcadia) has 50 wins for the epée squad, as well. In addition, 2011 All-American Dina Bazarbayeva (Houston, Texas/Lamar) has returned from an injury to win 13 of her 19 bouts late in the 2012 season.

    The two-day competition kicks off Saturday, March 3 at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.


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