Seven from Women's Fencing to Compete at NCAA Regionals at Brandeis on Sunday

MEDFORD - Seven members of the Tufts University women's fencing team will be in action at the 2018 NCAA Northeast Regionals being held on Sunday (Mar. 11) at Brandeis University's Gosman Sports and Convocation Center.

Competing in the foil weapon at Regionals for Tufts will be senior co-captain Julia O'Gara, junior Zoe Howard and freshman Georgia Kollias. Seniors Nayab Ajaz and Bridget Marturano along with freshman Lucy Pavlovich are in the sabre division for the Jumbos on Sunday. Junior Annie Ayala is Tufts' lone NCAA Regional representative in epee.

Marturano will fence at the Regional for the fourth consecutive season. Ajaz will be there for the third time and Howard will make her second Regional appearance. The rest of the Jumbos are first-time NCAA Regional qualifiers.

For this weekend's tournament there are 51 athletes from the region qualified in the epee weapon and 47 in both foil and sabre. Marturano is the highest seeded Jumbos at 30th in sabre. Ajaz is 36th in sabre and Howard is 37th in foil.

Last year, Marturano posted the highest finish in her weapon for the Jumbos, taking 23rd in sabre after entering as the 24th seed. She had two wins in the second round and was even in touches. Ajaz placed 38th in sabre. Howard also advanced out of the foil first round and had a 32nd-place finish that was three above her #35 Regional ranking entering the day.

In the 2016 Regional first-round sabre bouts at Vassar, Ajaz (+8) and Marturano (+8) both won three of four. Ajaz went on to win twice in the second round and finished 27th out of 51. Marturano (sabre) was 28th as a sophomore and 21st as a freshman in 2015 at NYU.

For Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) action this year, Marturano won an outstanding 27 of her 32 bouts in sabre and finished +71 in touches to rank sixth in the NFC for her weapon. Howard, ranked 12th for the NFC in foil, had a 26-10 record for the season and was +67 in touches. Ajaz (sabre) was 14th for her weapon in NFC bouts and finished +40 in touches and with a 19-13 record. Kollias also won more than she lost in foil (19-15) and was on the plus side in touches (+9).

"Fencing is incredibly competitive in the Northeast region and I am happy and excited that Tufts qualified seven fencers for Regionals for the second year in a row," Tufts head coach David Sach said. "Bridget and Zoe in particular have had good seasons so far and I'm hopefully they will continue this form at the event."

The schedule for Sunday has the women's epee and sabre events starting at 8:30 a.m. The women's foil bouts are slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. To follow live results of the action, visit https://escrimeresults.com/NCAA/NE/2018/index.htm.

#