STANFORD, Calif. – The Stanford men’s and women’s fencing teams will open the 2014 season at home this weekend with a dual match against Northwestern on Friday and the Western Invitational on Saturday.
“The team always gets excited before a tournament,” said head coach Lisa Milgram. “Fencing as a team instead of just as individuals is always exciting and a lot of fun. They grew up fencing as individuals. There are people who fence better on a team than they do alone because they are fencing to represent their school, their teammates and their coaches.”
The women’s squad will get things started on Friday at 5 p.m. when they host No. 8 Northwestern at the Arrillaga Center for Sports & Recreation. Northwestern does not have a men’s squad so the No. 9 Stanford men will have to wait until Saturday to begin the 2014 campaign.
“We are very excited,” said sophomore Vivian Kong. “We have been working on our fitness, technique and fencing each other. Over the break I got to go home and train more, so I am very excited to be back at Stanford and competing this weekend.”
The Western Invitational on Saturday will feature six schools. Joining Stanford will be Northwestern, Cal Tech, Florida, UC San Diego and Air Force. Action begins at 9 a.m. with the first matches of the day. All of Stanford’s bouts will take place on the downstairs strips while other matches will be held in the upstairs gymnasium.
“It has been a couple of months of non-stop preparing so we are ready to get out there and compete,” said junior Cameron Lindsay. “Last year we didn’t have a home meet so we are really looking forward to this year and having our family and friends come out to watch us.”
Stanford is set to face Nortwestern at 9 a.m., Cal Tech at 10 a.m., Florida at 11 a.m., UC San Diego at 12:30 p.m. and Air Force at 1:30 p.m.
The Cardinal and Air Force both received votes for the first CollegeFencing360.com Women’s Coaches Poll. Air Force and UC San Diego are receiving votes in the Men’s Coaches Poll.
The Stanford women’s team includes a strong epee group made up of senior Francesca Bassa, sophomore Vivian Kong and freshman May Peterson. Kong finished third at the NCAA Championshnips last year while Bassa finished seventh. Peterson joins the group this year.
The foil group is made up of junior Lily McElwee, sophomore Carly Cohen and freshman Eliza Klyce. This fall Klyce was making her way around the international circuit to help prepare her for the collegiate season.
The sabre group is the largest of the three weapon groups for Stanford. Junior Julia Klepner is the veteran and is joined by sophomores Isabel Gueble and Avery Youngblood and freshmen Alexa Rohan and Stephanie Wang. Youngblood claimed 19th at the NCAA Championships as a freshman while Klepner won the NCAA Western Regional her freshman year.
On the men’s side it will be foil that anchors the team. Sophomore Alex Massialas is the defending NCAA Champion and has medaled twice during the fall at the USA Fencing North American Cup. He is joined by senior Turner Caldwell who also medaled at the December NAC and took 11th at NCAA’s a year ago. Also on the foil squad is junior Jonathan Lee, sophomore Justin Lee and a pair of freshmen, Stephen Aman and James Manson.
The sabre group consists of senior Daniel McHugh, junior Cameron Lindsay, sophomores David Beam and Daniel Wolfson and freshman Jon Stayner. As a freshman, Wolfson finished 19th at the NCAA Championships while Lindsay was close behind in 21st last season.
The four members of the epee squad all represent a different class. The group includes senior Jake Harbour, junior Paul Riviere, sophomore Kael McInnis and freshman Ben Riviere. Harbour was 18th at the NCAA Championships last year while Paul Riviere was 21st.
The competitions this weekend will be the only chance to catch Stanford in action at home. The Cardinal will also compete at the Northwestern Duals in Evanston, Ill. Feb. 1-2 before the NCAA Western Regionals take place in Pasadena, Calif. March 8-9.