DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke fencing team will be represented to start the fall slate Oct. 13-16 at the October North American Cup (NAC) in Anaheim, Calif. Representing the 2017-18 squad on the West Coast Friday through Monday will be seniors Pascual Di Tella (saber) and Alec Ajnsztajn (epee), sophomores Aidan McGinnis (epee), Ben Stone (saber) and Agoston Walter (saber) and freshman Maria Papadopoulos (epee).
“Even though this NAC is in the other side of the country, we have a good group in epee and in saber going to compete at the first NAC of the year,” head coach Alex Beguinet said. “They’ve been training hard and are ready to test the field. We know they will do their best.”
Ajnsztajn and McGinnis will kick off competition for the Blue Devils on Friday, competing in the Division I Men’s Epee event. Registration for Division I Epee ends at 2 p.m. Ajnsztajn and McGinnis are seeded No. 106 and 80, respectively.
McGinnis is coming off a rookie season with a 22-28 overall mark, the second-best record among men’s epeeists, and a ninth-place finish during the individual portion of the ACC Championship. Ajnsztajn competed in two events as a junior and went 5-7 overall.
“This NAC is great preparation for the upcoming season,” epee coach Christophe Duclos said. “They traveled to the NAC very enthusiastic. I am looking forward to hearing back from them about their performance.”
Action will conclude Sunday with Di Tella, Stone and Walter slated for Division I Men’s Saber, with registration closing at 10:30 p.m. Stone enters the weekend ranked 21st, followed by Di Tella in 32nd and Walter in 57th.
Di Tella is coming off an impressive junior campaign after notching gold at the ACC Championship in men’s saber. Di Tella was named ACC Men’s Fencer of the Year and picked up ACC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition after posting a 40-8 ledger and placing fourth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional.
Walter captured bronze at the league championship in men’s saber as a rookie, placed 11th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional and went 32-13 overall.
Stone competed in each of the four North American Cup’s last season as a freshman, highlighted by his 10th-place finish in men’s saber at the January NAC.
Papadopoulos will also hit the strips for the first time in Division I Women’s Epee and is seeded 67th. Registration concludes Sunday at 4 p.m.
For a full schedule of this weekend’s event and live results, click here.