Women's Fencing Sending Nine to NCAA Regional on Sunday

MEDFORD – Nine members of the Tufts University women's fencing team will be at Vassar College on Sunday (Mar. 13) to compete in the 2022 NCAA Northeast Regional. The nine qualifiers are the most for the team since 10 went in 2014.

Head coach David Sach's Jumbos have four qualifiers in the foil weapon – senior Allison Cheng, sophomores Sydnee Lau and Lea Levi and freshman Shannon Chen. In epee, senior Kaitlyn Gill, junior Arianna Minassian and freshman Olivia Tomasello have qualified. The Jumbo sabre representatives are senior Bella McKinney and freshman Anat Katz.

Cheng qualified for the NCAA Regional for the third time, including 2019 and 2020. Gill, McKinney and Minassian were also invited in 2020. The others are first-time Regional qualifiers. Cheng is the only Jumbo to have competed at a Regional in 2019, whereas the 2020 competition was canceled due to COVID-19.

In Northeast Fencing Conference action this winter, Tufts won 11 of its 14 competitions to finish in third place. Lau had the team's best winning percentage of 90.91 with victories in 20 of her 22 foil bouts. Gill's 18-4 epee record was an 81.82 winning percentage to lead that weapon for the Jumbos. In sabre, Katz won 26 of 33 contests for a 78.79 percentage. Other Jumbos who won at better than 75 percent were Levi in foil (15/19; 78.95%) and Cheng in foil (18/24; 75%). Tufts also competed in the NU Duals at Northwestern and placed second at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships this year.

"I'm really proud of our team's performance at the meets this season," Cheng said. "We've had our best record thus far with wins against tough schools that are nationally-ranked like Northwestern and schools that we've lost to in the past like Brandeis. We're excited to carry this momentum into NCAA Regionals. We have qualifiers across all three weapons and all four years going to Regionals this year. It's a tough pool of competitors, but I can't wait to see what everyone accomplishes."

At the Regional, fencers are attempting to qualify for the 2022 NCAA Fencing Championships which will be held March 24-27 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The national championship will take place at the Castellan Family Fencing Center on the Notre Dame campus.