Red Storm Finishes Sixth At 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships

Senior Isis Washington became the 22nd national champion in program history after winning the women's epee at the 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships.
March 22, 2015


COLUMBUS, Ohio
- St. John's fencing racked up 137 points to place sixth at the 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships, which concluded Sunday at French Fieldhouse on the campus of Ohio State University. Led by head coach Yury Gelman, St. John's extended its streak of finishing sixth or better at the national championships to 23 years. Six of the Red Storm 11 fencers earned All-American honors, including Isis Washington, who won the women's epee national title in convincing fashion.

Columbia/Barnard claimed its 14th national championship with 165 points. Penn State placed second with 156 points, while Notre Dame also tallied 156 points to finish third. Princeton finished fourth with 148 points, followed by Ohio State and St. John's, who both registered 137 points to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. The St. John's men's team compiled 70 points in the first two days of competition, while the women's squad picked up 67 points.


St. John's was one of four schools that qualified 11 fencers, with six on the men's side and five for the women's squad. The others were Ohio State, Penn State, and Princeton. Only two schools - Columbia and Notre Dame - qualified the maximum of 12.

Women's Recap

Senior Isis Washington became the 22nd national champion in program history after defeating Julia Garcia of New Jersey Institute of Technology in the women's epee final, which was live on ESPN3 Sunday afternoon. In just her second NCAA appearance, the Parsippany, N.J., native went 15-8 in pool play to earn the No. 3 seed heading into the semifinals. Washington then went on to defeat Anna Van Brummen (Princeton), 15-14, in an epic bout to reach the finals. She then made quick work of Garcia and won, 15-6, to claim the gold medal and her first-career All-American honor.


Both women's foilist, senior Marta Hausman and junior Irene Spezzamonte earned All-American honors for the second-consecutive year. Making her third NCAA appearance, Hausman tied for 3rd place overall to claim the bronze medal. The Torun, Poland, native went 17-6 in pool play to earn the No. 4 seed heading into the semifinals to face No. 1 seed Lee Kiefer (Notre Dame). She then battled with Kiefer early in the bout, but eventually fell, 15-7, as Kiefer went on to claim the national title. Spezzamonte improved on her 10th place finish from a year ago. The native of Spinea, Italy, earned second-team All-American honors after tallying a 13-10 record to finish eighth overall.

Redshirt sophomore Margaret McDonald returned to the national championships after taking off a year. She finished 15th in the women's saber with a 9-14 record. Making her NCAA championships debut, freshman Veronika Zuikova went 12-10 and finished 12th in women's epee to earn All-American honorable mention honors.

Men's Recap

Both men's saber fencers made it to the semifinals for the second-consecutive year. The junior duo of Roman Sydorenko and Ferenc Valkai both registered 17 victories each in pool play and were the No. 3 and No. 4 seed, respectively. Sydorenko was matched up against Andrew Mackiewicz (Penn State), and Valkai would face Eli Dershwitz (Harvard). Sydrenko would fall 15-8 to Mackiewicz, while Valkai went on to defeat Dershwitz 15-11 to reach the final for the second-consecutive year. The Gödöllö, Hungary, native trailed early in the bout, but would eventually even the score at 7-7. Valkai would ultimately lose 15-10 and claim the silver medal, while Sydorenko won the bronze.


In men's foil, freshman Andras Nemeth, the Northeast Regional Champion, went 10-13 in his NCAA Championship debut to place 15th. Making his third NCAA appearance, junior Michele Caporizzi finished 19th with a 9-14 record.

Sophomore Cooper Schumacher led the men's epee squad with a 17th place finish and 9-14 record, while freshman Sean White finished 23rd and went 8-15 in his first NCAA appearance.

About the NCAA Fencing Championships

The 144 total fencers compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four finishers in each weapon will fence in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the non-advancing fencers being awarded a tie for third 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.

St. John's was one of four schools that qualified 11 fencers, with six on the men's side and five for the women's squad. The others were Ohio State, Penn State, and Princeton. Only two schools - Columbia and Notre Dame - qualified the maximum of 12.

St. John's NCAA Fencing Championship History

Since men's and women's teams began competing together in 1990, St. John's has won one NCAA Championship (2001), has made five runner-up finishes (1995, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2010). The Red Storm have now had 22 individual NCAA champions.


Watch Replay on ESPN3

Live coverage of the 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships will be available on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. An hour-long special will be featured on ESPNU at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 8.


St. John's Individual Results/Records from the 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships:

Men's Saber
Ferenc Valkai, Jr. (Gödöllö, Hungary)

- 2nd place - Silver Medalist, (17-6)
- First-team All-American

Roman Sydorenko, Jr. (Kiev, Ukraine)

- T-3rd place - Bronze Medalist, (17-6)
- First-team All-American

Men's Foil
Andras Nemeth, Fr. (Budapest, Hungary)

- 15th place, (10-13)

Michele Caporizzi, Jr. (Milan, Italy)

- 19th place, (9-14)

Men's Epee
Cooper Schumacher, So. (Pompton Lakes, N.J.)

- 17th place, (9-14)

Sean White, Fr. (Manassas, Va.)

- 23rd place, (8-15)

Women's Saber
Margaret McDonald, R-So. (Atlanta, Ga.)

- 15th place, (9-14)

Women's Foil
Marta Hausman, Sr. (Torun, Poland)

- T-3rd place - Bronze Medalist, (17-6)
- First-team All-American

Irene Spezzamonte, Jr. (Spinea, Italy)

- 8th place, (13-10)
- Second-team All-American

Women's Epee
Isis Washington, Sr. (Parsippany, N.J.)

- 1st place - Gold Medalist, (15-8)
- First-team All-American

Veronika Zuikova, Fr. (Tallinn, Estonia)

- 12th place, (12-10)
- All-American Honorable Mention


 

 

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