July 29, 2010
The 2009-10 athletic year at Northwestern University was one to remember. Filled with memorable wins, honors and championships, there was much to be celebrated this past year in Evanston. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com through August 6 as we take a look back at some of the very best highlights the Wildcats experienced last season.
Original Recap and Results
EVANSTON, Ill. -- In his 32 years as the Northwestern head fencing coach, Laurie Schiller has built the Wildcats into one of the nation's top programs. On January 23, the elder statesman of Wildcat coaches further solidified his place in history, becoming just the second fencing coach in NCAA history to notch 1,000 career victories.
Competing in the opening match of the NYU Duals, Northwestern found itself trailing fourth-ranked Columbia 12-8. The Wildcats would rally, however, capturing five of the next six bouts to tie the match at 13.
Freshman Dayana Sarkisova was on the strip in the deciding bout for the Wildcats and quickly fell behind 4-2. But the freshman recorded the next three touches against the Lions' top foilist, clinching the match 14-13 and giving Schiller victory number 1,000.
"It was an extraordinarily exciting comeback and it just seemed fitting," said Schiller following the milestone win. "It was an unbelievable victory and started out what turned out to be a good day for the team. We beat two ranked teams (at the NYU Duals) and everyone performed well, so all in all, it was a good day for us."
Schiller's 1,000th career victory highlighted what was a memorable 2009-10 season for the Wildcats. Northwestern set a program-best for victories, finishing the dual season with a 45-4 mark and upping Schiller's career record to 1,034-416, with the 'Cats climbing to as high as third in the national rankings. The Wildcats finished third at the Midwest Conference Championships and qualified five fencers for the NCAA Championships.
Sarkisova would go on to finish third at the NCAAs, becoming the fourth Wildcat to earn first team All-America honors. Senior Christa French would earn the fourth All-America honor of her career, earning honorable mention after a 10th-place showing as Northwestern placed eighth, its 11th-straight top-10 national finish.
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