Zuikova Finishes Second, Four Johnnies Earn All-American Honors at NCAA Championships

Veronika Zuikova finished second in women's epee
Veronika Zuikova finished second in women's epee
March 23, 2018

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Wrapping up the female portion of play at the NCAA Championships, Veronika Zuikova claimed silver in epee after a second-place finish to become a four-time All-American to close out her stellar St. John’s career.

The other three Johnnies to compete on Friday afternoon at Penn State University all finished inside the top-10 as Karolina Cieslar placed fifth and Karolina Kaleta earned an eighth place finish as the duo both became Second Team All-Americans in saber.

In her final NCAA’s, senior Ally Ryf became a Third Team All-American after coming in 10th in women’s epee.

Zuikova, a senior from Estonia, cruised through pool play with a 15-7 record to advance to the final four and a chance to become a national champion. Taking on the top seed in the semifinals on ESPN3, Zuikova knocked off Amanda Sirico of Notre Dame in a tightly contested bout, 13-12. Looking to become a national champion, Zuikova fought hard in the final bout, but fell, 15-13, to Catherine Nixon of Princeton in a thrilling matchup. A four-time All-American, the veteran earned the highest finish of a career coming in second place in epee.

A First Team All-American in her rookie season last year, Cieslar just missed the top four spots after going 16-7 in pool play and outscored her opponents by 32 touches. The sophomore finished just one bout victory short of reaching the last four in saber and came in fifth place.

Competing alongside Cieslar in saber, Kaleta had a strong showing on the piste with an eighth place finish to become a Second Team All-American with Cieslar. Kaleta tallied 14 victories in pool play, including triumphs over some of the best saber fencers across the country.

For the final time in her Red Storm career, Ryf went out in style to become a Third Team All-American and the highest finish of her career coming in 10th overall. The Houston product picked up 12 wins during the last two days to wrap up her collegiate fencing career.

The men’s part of the NCAA Championships begins tomorrow morning as five Red Storm fencers will look to bring back hardware to Queens with St. John’s currently sitting in sixth place as a team with 58 points.

St. John's Women’s Individual Results/Records from the 2018 NCAA Fencing Championships

Women’s Saber

Karolina Cieslar – 5th place – Second Team All-American, 16-7
Karolina Kaleta - 8th place – Second Team All-American, 14-9

Women’s Epee

Veronika Zuikova – 2nd place - Silver medalist, First Team All-American, 16-7
Ally Ryf - 10th place – Third Team All-American, 12-11

 

 

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