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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Blue Devils Prepped for NCAA Championships
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/22/2017
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A program best eight Blue Devils will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., March 23-26 to compete at the NCAA Fencing Championships. Competing for the Blue Devils will be senior Julia Lee (women’s foil), junior Pascual Di Tella (men’s saber), sophomores Camille Esnault (women's epee) and Bryn Hammarberg (men’s epee) and freshmen Lindsay Sapienza (women’s saber), Eoin Gronningsater (men’s foil), Jonathan Schwartzman (men’s foil) and Duncan De Caire (men’s saber).

The championship will be at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, hosted by Notre Dame.

The Blue Devils have been well represented at the NCAA Championships during head coach Alex Beguinet’s  time in Durham, sending at least one Duke fencer to the national meet 23 straight years and 31 out of his 32 seasons at Duke.

At least four Blue Devils have made the trip to the NCAA Championships the past 10 campaigns, with this season’s eight student-athletes setting a program record. The four freshmen competing this year is also a program-best. Duke’s eight qualifiers this season push the total number under Beguinet to 114, an average of 3.56 per year during his tenure.

Julia Lee | Senior | Foil | Montville, N.J.

Lee is making her first NCAA appearance as a senior after punching her ticket at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional with a first-place finish. During the 2017 campaign, Lee competed in four meets and posted a 27-14 overall record, highlighted by an 8-1 showing at the annual Duke Meet and finishing fourth in the individual competition at the ACC Championships.

Pascual Di Tella | Junior | Saber | Vincente Lopez, Buenos Aires, Argentina

As the 2017 ACC Men’s Saber Champion, Di Tella is looking to continue his success this weekend at NCAAs after placing 13th last year. Di Tella has paced a successful saber squad with a 40-8 ledger and notched a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. Di Tella was named Co-Men’s Fencer of the Year for Saber last season and claimed the title himself this year after a stellar junior campaign.

Camille Esnault | Sophomore | Epee | Cupertino, Calif.

Esnault has been dominate this season, compiling an impressive 30-7 record. The California native helped the women's epee squad go undefeated at the annual Duke Meet by going 9-1 in the individual bouts. Esnault finished the ACC Championships in fifth place and placed ninth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. 

Bryn Hammarberg | Sophomore| Epee | Maplewood, N.J.

Hammarberg will be competing at NCAAs for the second time as a sophomore after finishing 14th his freshman year. Hammarberg has collected a 38-24 overall record through five meets and has been Duke’s top epeeist throughout the season. After claiming bronze at the ACC Championships in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Hammarberg posted a 10th-place showing at regionals.

Lindsay Sapienza | Freshman | Saber | Bardonia, N.Y.

Sapienza hit the strips hard during her first season in a Duke lamé and boasts a freshmen-best 52-21 record. The Bardonia, N.Y., native set the standard high at the first meet of the season with a women’s team-best 12-6 ledger at the Penn State Duals. Following her performance, Sapienza received Co-Female Fencer of the Week accolades and garnered silver at the ACC Championships.  

Eoin Gronningsater | Freshman | Foil | Brooklyn, N.Y.

Gronningsater has proven to be victorious on the strips as a two-time ACC Male Fencer of the Week with a 43-9 overall record. Gronningsater has helped the foil squad see great success this season and garnered a bronze medal at the ACC Championships in the individual competition. The Brooklyn native produced an undefeated record at the Eric Sollee Invitational and finished fourth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional.

Jonathan Schwartzman | Freshman | Foil | Potomac, Md.

Alongside his teammate Gronningsater, Schwartzman has also had a hand in the foil squad’s success. Schwartzman posted a 42-10 ledger and received ACC Male Fencer of the Week after helping the men go undefeated at the Duke Meet with a perfect 11-0 record. The product of Potomac, Md., continued his rookie campaign with a second-place finish at regionals.

Duncan De Caire | Freshman | Saber | Sacramento, Calif.

De Caire leads the Blue Devil men with an outstanding 49-18 overall showing this season and was named ACC Male Fencer of the Week following his team-leading 11-1 performance at the Philadelphia Invitational. De Caire finished eighth at ACC Championships and seventh at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional.

At the NCAA Fencing Championships, fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four finishers will advance to a single-elimination bracket of 15-touch bouts. A combined men’s and women’s team champion will be determined by the points earned by each individual fencer, with a student-athlete earning one point for each victory during the championships. The men will compete Thursday and Friday, followed by the women Saturday and Sunday.

The semifinal and final bouts for each weapon will be broadcast live on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN App. ESPNU will also air the semifinals and finals, along with other highlights from the championship, Wednesday, April 6 starting at 2:30 p.m.

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