The Red sends two fencers to nationals this week.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Senior Photographer

The Red sends two fencers to nationals this week.

March 21, 2018

Freshman Fencers Gear Up for Nationals

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A pair of freshman will represent the Red this weekend at the NCAA women’s 2018 fencing championships in University Park, Pennsylvania.

The freshman duo is composed of Grace Ding, who finished fifth at the Northeastern regional last weekend and Marissa Viquiera, who finished seventh in the same tournament. Both will fight for the same prize, an individual national championship from the foil division.

After losing nine of the team’s final 10 bouts, a strong performance by these two freshmen at regionals was a much-needed highlight to an upsetting season. Viquiera finished the season strong, receiving second team All-Ivy honors after a 12-6 performance at the Ivy League Championships in February. Ding provided a spark of her own with a fifth-place performance at regionals.

Of the 24 contenders in the foil division, nine come from the Ivy League. The familiarity will play a role, especially for such young competitors on the biggest stage.

Action in the foil division starts at 9 a.m. Thursday and consists of five rounds of five-touch bouts in a round robin format. The top four then go onto the championship round of 15-touch bouts on Friday to determine a national champion.