DURHAM, N.C. – Six Duke fencers will participate in the 2011 NCAA Championship on March 24-27, tying the school record for the most qualifiers for the national tournament.
Among Duke’s selections were two-time All-America and 2009 NCAA Women’s Saber Champion Becca Ward, All-America women’s epee Emily D’Agostino, two-time All-America men’s foil Dorian Cohen, men’s epees Jonathan Parker and Dylan Nollner and men’s saber Anthony Lin.
Ward enters the NCAA Championship as a favorite to vie for the women’s saber title. A junior and native of Portland, Ore., Ward posted a team-best 66-3 record and won the NCAA Atlantic/South Regional for the third straight year. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist took second place in the 2010 NCAA Championship after winning the event as a freshman in 2009.
Cohen, meanwhile, is coming off of his best finish at Regionals – a third-place outing in men’s foil – and will look to post his best NCAA finish with his fourth straight tournament berth. Cohen owns a 183-53 record during his four-year career and posted the best record on the Duke men’s squad this year with a 59-10 mark. An All-America in 2008 and 2010, Cohen has a shot to become just the third Blue Devil to earn All-America honors three times in his career.
D’Agostino, a sophomore, will make her second trip to the national championship after earning All-America honors at the event as a freshman last season. Lin, the Duke men’s team’s top saber, will also make his second trip to the NCAA Championship along with Parker. Nollner, meanwhile, will make his debut at the tournament after notching a third-place showing at Regionals.
Duke’s six NCAA qualifiers tie for the most in school history, matching the six entries Duke had in 2006. This year marks the 11th straight year in which Duke had at least three fencers earn NCAA bids under head coach Alex Beguinet.