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Princeton Grabs A Share of the Lead After Day Two of the NCAA Fencing Championships

Princeton Grabs A Share of the Lead After Day Two of the NCAA Fencing Championships

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Princeton gained a share of the lead after day two of the 2012 NCAA Fencing Championships, which took place at Ohio State's French Field House and St. John Arena.

With the women's portion of the championship drawing to a close, the Tigers are tied at the top with Ohio State, as both squads amassed 88 points in the first two days of the four-day championship. Other teams that have cracked the 80-win plateau and look to be title contenders heading into the men's portion of the championship include Notre Dame (82), St. John's (81) and Penn State (81).

Penn's Luona Wang (foil) and the Princecton duo of Eliza Stone (sabre) and Katherine Holmes (epee) all qualified for the medal round in their respective weapons to earn first team All-America honors on Friday. Wang led the group as she won her semifinal showdown against Ohio State's Mona Shaito, 15-8, to advance to the NCAA Championship bout. Wang lost the final to Evgeniya Kirpicheva of St. John's, 15-8, to finish with the silver. Wang qualified for the semifinals with a total of 17 foil wins in the two days of pool play and she became the first Penn women's fencer to advance to a championship bout since Jane Hall fenced for a title in 1986.

Holmes advanced to the semifinals with 19 wins in the seven rounds of pool fencing, but in the semifinals she lost to eventual NCAA Champion Katarzyna Dabrowa of Ohio State, 15-8. Stone notched 16 wins in pool play to book a spot in the semifinals, where she faced Duke's Rebecca Ward. Ward won the semifinal bout, 15-5, and went on to claim her third career NCAA Championship, becoming the first woman to claim three sabre titles in NCAA history. In fact, Yale legend Sada Jacobson (2001 & 2002) is the only fencer with two women's sabre NCAA Championships.

Harvard remained in sixth place after the second day of fencing with 62 wins. Columbia is seventh (53), followed by Penn (52), who is tied for eighth, and 12th-place Brown (21). Thirteenth-place Cornell (18) and 14th-place Yale (15) round out the Ivy contingent.  

The top-12 finishers in each weapon earned All-America honors, giving the Ivye League 13 All-Americans after the women's portion of the championship.

Joining Holmes as women's epee All-Americans was her teammate Hannah Safford (seventh place, second team All-Ameircan), as well as Columbia's Lydia Kopecky (eighth overall, second team All-American) and Penn's Amrit Bhinder (12th overall, third team All-American). Safford and Kopecky finsihed the championship with 15 wins each, while Bhinder totaled 12.

In foil, Yale's Lauren Miller won 15 bouts en route to claiming All-America honors (seventh overall, second team), while the Ivy trio of Princeton's Ambika Singh (10th), Harvard's Alexandra Kiefer (11th) and Princeton's Eve Levin (12th) all earned third team honors. Singh had 14 wins, while Kiefer and Levin each had 13.

In sabre, 2010 NCAA Champion Caroline Vloka of Harvard finished with 15 wins to place fifth and earn second team All-America honors. Penn's Dominika Franciszkowicz (10th) and Columbia's Samantha Roberts (12th) each recorded 12 wins en route to claiming third team honors.

Men's fencing action begins on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with rounds one, two three and four slated to take place. An institution's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships (in pool play).

2012 NCAA Championship Overall Team Standings - Day Two:
1. Ohio State -- 88
1. Princeton -- 88
3. Notre Dame -- 82              
4. Penn State -- 81                         
4. St. John's -- 81
6. Harvard -- 62           
7. Columbia -- 53                         
8. Northwestern -- 52           
8. Penn -- 52                                       
10. Temple -- 40                         
11. Duke -- 37                         
12. Brown -- 21
13. Cornell -- 18
14. Yale -- 15             
15. Stanford -- 12           
16. North Carolina -- 8
17. Sacred Heart -- 6             
18. M.I.T. -- 5             
19. Boston College -- 4
20. U.C. San Diego -- 1