COLUMBUS, Ohio - Two-time defending NCAA Champion Becca Ward sits in second place after the first day of the NCAA Fencing Championships and will vie for her third NCAA Championship in the medal rounds on Friday.
Ward, who won the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Saber Championships, went 12-1 on the first day of competition at Ohio State with her only loss coming 5-4 to Ohio State's Margarita Tschomakov. A senior from Portland, Ore., Ward will enter Friday's medal rounds against the other top four women's saber finishers, Penn State's Monica Aksamit, Harvard's Carolina Vloka and Princeton's Eliza Stone.
Ward has reached the NCAA Championship bout in each of her first three seasons. She has faced Vloka in two of those matches, winning in 2009, and defeated Stone in the championship bout in 2011. With two victories tomorrow, Ward would become only the fifth women's fencer in NCAA history to win three national championships.
Duke freshman Sarah Collins and junior Emily D'Agostino also took part in the women's epee competition, amassing 10 points for Duke which sits in 11th place after the first day. Collins went 6-8 in her first NCAA Fencing Championships to take 15th place, while D'Agostino - a two-time All-American - placed 17th with a 4-10 record.
Following Friday's championship rounds, the Duke men will begin their two-day trek toward the NCAA Championships. The Blue Devils will send epees Tristan Jones and Dylan Nollner and saber Anthony Lin. Senior Jonathan Parker - a 2011 All-American at the championships - will serve as an alternate for the epees.