COLUMBUS, Ohio – Duke junior Becca Ward won her second
national championship after defeating Princeton’s Eliza Stone 15-12 in the
finals of the 2011 NCAA Fencing Women’s Saber Championship on the final day of the
tournament on Sunday at Ohio State University.
With the title bout tied at 12-12 in the
first-to-15-points final, Ward locked in and scored the final three touches to
give Duke its third individual NCAA Fencing Championship and its first multiple
winner. Ward’s title run garnered 19 of Duke’s 74 team points and
vaulted Duke into ninth place in the team standings.
Ward entered the day in fifth place after the first four
rounds on Saturday, but won nine straight bouts in Sunday morning’s round-robin
to move into second place. With a spot among the top four in the 24-saber field,
Ward earned a trip to the semifinals where she defeated Harvard’s Caroline
Vloka 15-11 to move on to the finals. The bout between Ward and Vloka was a
rematch of the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Women’s Saber Championship matches, which
Ward won 15-4 in 2009 and Vloka won 15-13 in 2010.
Ward becomes the first Duke fencer to win multiple
national championships, the ninth women’s fencer in NCAA history to win two
NCAA titles and only the second women’s saber to achieve that feat. The only
other fencer to win two NCAA Saber Championships was Ward’s 2008 Olympic
teammate Sada Jacobson, who won the event in 2001 and 2002 at Yale before
teaming up with Ward to win a pair of Olympic medals in Beijing in the last
Summer Olympic Games.
With the victory, Ward also becomes an All-America for
the third straight year and is one of a school-record four Duke fencers to earn All-America
status at the 2011 NCAA Championship. Along with Ward, sophomore women’s epee
Emily D'Agostino (10th place), junior men’s epee Jonathan Parker (7th)
and senior men’s foil Dorian Cohen (11th place) each earned
All-America honors this year. D’Agostino placed 10th and was named
All-America for the second straight year after posting a 12-11 record in her
seven rounds of competition.
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