What has the No. 8 Northwestern Wildcats fencing squad been up to lately, you ask?
Currently, the ‘Cats hold a record of 29-11. They began their season with an undefeated showing at the Fall NU Duals back in November with a perfect 5-0 record. Northwestern’s foil squad won every single one of their bouts. NU then competed in the Elite Invitational in Philadelphia and struggled, going 1-5 on the day in matches against highly-ranked squads such as Princeton, Penn State, and Cornell. Their sole win came against Harvard, 14-13.
As the calendar turned to 2020, the ‘Cats next competed in the Western Invitational in La Jolla, California, on January 12, and went undefeated once again with a record of 5-0. Senior saber Abby Tartell went 10-1 on the day as Northwestern dominated Stanford, Florida, Incarnate Word, Air Force, and UC San Diego.
After a 2-3 showing at the Penn Duals and a 6-1 showing at the Deciccio Duals, the sole loss coming to No. 3 Notre Dame, Northwestern hosted the NU Duals on February 1. Despite losses to Notre Dame and Ohio State, the ‘Cats defeated top ranked program in the country in Princeton, 15-12. The ‘Cats overall went 10-2 at Ryan Fieldhouse, with their only losses coming to No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Ohio State, two teams who have had NU’s number so far this season.
The ‘Cats proceeded on to the Midwest Championship the next week, where they once again fell short against the Buckeyes in the individual competition to finish second overall. The ‘Cats went home with 4 bronze medals from first-year Julia Falinska (Epée), first-year Anna Biasco (Foil), Tartell (Saber) and Swallow (Saber). The ‘Cats reached the finals f the team portion of the Midwest Championship but fell in all three bouts to the Buckeyes.
Next on the docket for the ‘Cats is the NCAA Regionals, in which they will compete this upcoming weekend at the University of Detroit, Mercy in Michigan.
In facility news, the Wildcat fencers also moved into a new home this weekend. Patten Gymnasium opened up as the new NU Fencing Facility just yesterday. I’m no expert, but this looks pretty state-of-the-art as far as fencing facilities go.