DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke fencing team opens the 2013 season this Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Penn State Duals in State College, Pa. The Blue Devils will take on Penn, Haverford, Temple, Columbia and Drew at the meet, which runs from 8:30 to 4 p.m.
Duke returns six of nine starters on the men's and women's teams and is coming off of a 2012 season in which both squads set school records for wins and recorded a program-best ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Anchoring the Duke women will be two-time All-America and 2012-13 team captain Emily D'Agostino whose 174-41 career record is tops among Duke's active female fencers.
The Duke women boast a roster that includes four A-level fencers, including epees D'Agostino and Isabella Barna and sabers Sean Cadley and Kodia Baye-Cigna. Cadley has been a four-year contributor for the Blue Devils and is coming off a career year in which she notched a 68-20 record to lead the Duke women in wins. Baye-Cigna, meanwhile, also topped 60 wins with a 63-25 mark as she, Cadley and three-time NCAA Champion Becca Ward led the Duke women's sabers to a program-best 28-2 record.
Leading the Duke women's foils is senior Lily Shepard, who has topped 40 wins in her previous three seasons and owns a career mark of 159-67. Shepard will be the leader of a revamped foil squad that features only one other fencer making the Penn State trip - junior Jessica Kang (23-22 in 2012) - who has fenced in a collegiate bout.
The Duke men return a combined four upperclassmen who were key contributors in 2012, including 2012 USA Junior World Team member Dylan Nollner and three-time NCAA qualifier and team captain Anthony Lin. Lin is the most seasoned member of the squad with a team-leading 140-42 career record, while Nollner is a two-time NCAA qualifier who is coming off of a strong offseason in which he placed third at the North American Cup in Virginia Beach, Va.
Anchoring the men's saber squad alongside Lin will be junior Eugene Chung, who led the group with a 47-28 record last season. Sophomore saber Colin Colter also brings a year of competition experience after winning 21 bouts as a freshman in 2012.
The foils bring back starters Chris Sullivan and Rod Shayesteh who posted matching 52-29 records last season that ranked as the second most victories on the team.