March 12, 2013
NCAA Championship Central
EVANSTON, Ill.-- Four Northwestern fencers have been selected to compete in the NCAA Fencing Combined Men's and Women's Championship March 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas, the selection committee announced Tuesday. Two Wildcats will be in the field in epée and one each will participate in foil and sabre.
Dayana Sarkisova earns her fourth nod to the NCAA Fencing Championship in foil, while Chloe Grainger will attend for the third time in sabre. Epéeists Dina Bazarbayeva and Courtney Dumas will each be making their second trip for Northwestern.
Senior Kate Cavanaugh was also selected by the committee to compete in epée, but she withdrew because of a lower body injury. The Milwaukee, Wis., native was a 2012 First Team All-America selection after placing third in Columbus, Ohio.
Sarkisova, a three-time All-American foilist, will look to make it 4-for-4 later this month. Only three other fencers in program history have garnered All-America status in four seasons of competition. Julia Földi was an All-America fencer from 2002-05, Sam Nemecek accomplished the feat from 2006-09 and, most recently, Christa French did so from 2007-10. Sarkisova's best finish came when she placed third overall as a freshman in 2010.
Though Sarkisova was limited this season by nagging injuries, the senior racked up 65 wins and earned an individual bronze medal at the Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) Championship on March 2. One week later, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native posted 12 wins and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Regional at Notre Dame.
Grainger, who returns to the national championship tournament for a third consecutive season, will represent NU's sabre squad. The senior ranks second on Northwestern's team with 95 total wins in 2013. The Decatur, Ga., native posted 13 wins Saturday to place third at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Grainger's top finish at the NCAA Championship came as a sophomore. Last season, she was selected, but forced to withdraw early on in the event with an injury.
The Wildcats will have two entries in the epée field, both of whom have previous NCAA Championship experience to their credit. Bazarbayeva, a junior, was a Second Team All-America honoree as a freshman in 2011 after placing sixth overall. Bazarbayeva has won 77 percent of her bouts this season and also captured an individual silver medal at the MFC Championship on March 2.
Dumas, a sophomore, will make her second trip to the NCAA Championship. She leads the epée squad with 83 wins in 2012-13, including a squad best 10 at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Like Sarkisova, Dumas claimed a bronze medal at the MFC Championship earlier this month.
The 2013 NCAA Fencing Championship will be hosted by the University of the Incarnate Word and held in the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas March 21-24. The event is combined with the men and the women's rounds will take place over the final two days, March 23-24.
Live coverage of the NCAA Fencing Championship will be provided through ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App. An hour-long documentary-style highlight show will air on ESPNU on Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. CT.
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