March 8, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -
The NCAA Men's and Women's Fencing Committee has announced the field of 144 competitors that will participate in the 2006 National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships. Northwestern's fifth-ranked women's team will send five student-athletes to this year's competition. Rice University and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority will host the championships at the JW Marriott Hotel, March 16-19, in Houston, Texas.
Leading the way with a first-place finish at last weekend's Midwest Regional is freshman Sam Nemecek (Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia). Nemecek defeated Notre Dame's Adrienne Nott for the Regional title. Fellow foilist Jessica Florendo (Forest Hills, N.Y./The Dwight School) finished third at the Midwest Regional and boasts a season record of 108-13. This is Florendo's--a junior--third qualification for the NCAA Championship, she also competed as a freshman and sophomore.
Senior epeeist Sharon Sullivan (Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) will be making her third trip to the Championship. Sullivan just missed the 2005 tournament after qualifying her first two seasons at NU. She finished in fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
In a true testament to how strong the Northwestern women's fencing team is, two sabreists were selected as at-large bids for the Championship. Senior Emily Pasternak (Wilmette, Ill./New Trier) and junior Mai Vu (New York, N.Y./Bronx Science) were chosen after seventh and eighth place finishes at the Midwest Regional. Pasternak is making her second trip to the season-ending tournament, while Vu has qualified all three years of her collegiate career.
Northwestern is sending five NCAA qualifiers for the third-straight year.
The National Collegiate Men's and Women's Fencing Championships include individual events in each of the six weapons (women's foil, women's epee, women's sabre, men's foil, men's epee, men's sabre).
Fencers will compete in a round-robin of 24 fencers in five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top four fencers in each event will fence direct elimination 15-touch bouts for first, second, third and fourth place. Absolute ties for the seeding will be broken as follows: for positions one through three, by a coin toss; for position four, by a fence-off.
An institution's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.