DURHAM, N.C. – Duke junior epeeist Sarah Collins will open the 2014 NCAA Championships for Duke today at 11:30 a.m. at Ohio State University. Collins is one of five Blue Devils competing at the national championships and the lone Duke women’s fencer. Joining her in the men’s competition, which begins Saturday, March 22, will be foil Joseph Lam, saber Christopher Monti and epees Dylan Nollner and Alessio Santoro.
Both Collins, a junior, and Nollner, a senior, are team captains who have advanced to the NCAA Championships every year of their Duke careers. Nollner and Santoro, who combined for an 87-36 (.707) record during the regular season, took two of the top three spots at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional.
Collins went 47-12 in 2014 despite missing Duke’s first two meets while recovering from injury. She was the Duke women’s leader in winning percentage and has turned in previous NCAA finishes of 13th (2012) and 18th (2013).
Nollner is coming off of a fifth-place finish in last year’s national championships, a performance that earned him All-America honors and saw him finish just one touch shy of advancing to the NCAA medal rounds. He is only the seventh Duke men’s fencer to advance to the NCAA Championships during all four years of competition and has logged previous finishes of 22nd (2011), 15th (2012) and 5th (2013).
Santoro had a breakout season as a senior, logging a squad-best 52-22 (.703) record for the epees and claiming third place at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. This will be his first career appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Lam, a freshman, led the Duke men’s foils with a 46-28 (.622) record in his first season and notched an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. His freshman teammate Monti, meanwhile, also led the sabers with a 62-20 (.756) record and placed ninth at regionals.