COLUMBUS, Ohio – Becca Ward, the 2009 NCAA Women’s Saber Champion and 2010 NCAA runner-up, currently sits in fifth place at the 2011 NCAA Fencing Championships, and Duke teammate Emily D'Agostino occupies the 10th spot in women’s epee after day one of the women’s competition at Ohio State.
Ward won 10 of her 14 bouts in the first four rounds of the competition and ranked second among all sabers in touches scored, fewest touches received and touch differential. The two-time All-America and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist held 10 of her 14 opponents to two points or less and lost two of her bouts by just one point.
Ward’s .714 winning percentage trails only defending NCAA Champion Carolina Vloka of Harvard (.929), Princeton’s Eliza Stone (.857), Ohio State’s Margarita Tschomakova (.786) and Notre Dame’s Eileen Hassett (.786). To earn her third straight trip to the finals, Ward will need to jump into the top four in the final three rounds on Sunday.
D’Agostino finished an even 7-7 in the first four rounds and is in position to earn her second All-America citation with a position in the top 10.
Behind Ward and D’Agostino’s performances, and those from men’s fencers Jonathan Parker, Dorian Cohen, Anthony Lin and Dylan Nollner, Duke ranks 10th out of 24 teams at the event and trails Stanford by two points. The final three rounds of the women’s competition and the medal rounds take place on Sunday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The top four finishers in the round robin from each weapon will then fence in the medal rounds which begin at 2 p.m.