STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The Duke fencing team finalized the 2018 campaign Sunday afternoon at the NCAA Fencing Championships on the campus of Penn State. Senior Pascual Di Tella and sophomore Eoin Gronningsater headlined the weekend, securing All-America honors in their respective weapons.
The Blue Devils finished in 10th as a team with 67 points, marking their eighth top-10 finish in the past nine seasons.
Notre Dame claimed its second-consecutive team title with 185 points, followed by Columbia (170), Ohio State (147), Penn State (137) and Harvard (129) to round out the top five.
Di Tella rounded out his stellar campaign as a Blue Devil with a 10th-place finish in men’s saber today, collecting his second All-America accolade in a Duke lamé. The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native tallied 13 victories through two days of competition.
Throughout his Duke career, Di Tella was a three-time ACC Fencer of the Year in saber, the 2017 ACC Champion, the 2017 ACC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year and qualified for NCAAs and NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional four times. He is just the fifth Blue Devil to capture All-America accolades as a saberist and only the second to capture the honor more than once.
Gronningsater added his first All-America honor as a sophomore in men’s foil today with 14 wins to capture fifth, just one spot short of the finals. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native improved eight spots this year after placing 13th at NCAAs as a freshman and recently was named the ACC Fencer of the Year for men’s foil. The All-American honor is also the first for a Blue Devil male foilist since 2011.
The two All-America honors mark the sixth time Duke has captured more than one at the NCAA Championships.
“Pascual [Di Tella] had a good performance for an extremely high level of competition … better than a World Cup,” head coach Alex Beguinet said. “Eoin [Gronningsater] fenced very well during the second day. He missed the final by one bout but we know he will become a strong leader for our team the next two years.”
Freshman foilist Brycen Rushing finished in 17th today with 10 victories while 2017 All-America honoree Bryn Hammarberg closed his junior campaign in 20th in men’s epee. Sophomore saberist Agoston Walter placed 24th in men’s saber.
The semifinals and finals, along with other championships highlights, will air on ESPNU at 1 p.m. ET on April 4.
20. Bryn Hammarberg