PASADENA, Calif. – Three fencers won NCAA West Regional championships on Saturday while three others automatically qualified with second place finishes.
Senior Jake Harbour, sophomore Alexander Massialas and sophomore Vivian Kong all came away with first place finishes on a great day for the Cardinal. Also automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships with second place finishes were senior Francesca Bassa, junior Paul Riviere and freshman Alexa Rohan.
Harbour repeated as West Regional Champion in epee and captured his third career regional title. He also won in 2013 and 2011. After going 7-4 in pool play, Harbour was the No. 4 seed. He knocked out the top seed Adam Campbell-Kruger of UC San Diego, 15-13, and then beat his teammate, Paul Riviere, 15-8 for the championship.
“It was a wonderful way to finish,” said Harbour. “Being there before helped me relax. I like the regional format a lot so it was very fun. We have a strong team and Paul (Riviere) fenced amazing. It is always difficult to fence a teammate.”
Massialas also repeated as regional champion in the foil. He has won back-to-back titles to start his career. The sophomore went undefeated in the pool rounds at 10-0, allowing just 14 touches in the ten matches. He cruised through the elimination rounds with a 15-4 victory against Jeffrey Chan of UC San Diego and a 15-8 win over Alex Chiang of Air Force.
“It was a fight from start to finish,” said Massialas. “The regional is a lot of bouts and there is no room for error. You have to be on top of your game against everyone. I fenced my hardest and did pretty well.”
Kong won her first career regional championship in epee after a hard fought 15-10 match against her teammate Francesca Bassa. Up until this year, Bassa had won all three of the regional championships she had competed in. Kong also defeated a teammate in the semifinals, taking down freshman May Peterson, 15-6. Kong went undefeated in nine matches during pool play.
“I am proud of our team,” said Kong. “It is hard going against teammates, but we practice against each other so often that it makes us better. I’m happy with my performance as I had some tough bouts.”
Bassa, who claimed second place, only lost to Kong in the regional. She was 8-1 in pool play and then defeated Peterson for third place in a 15-8 bout. Peterson was 5-4 in pool play before facing her teammates in the elimination rounds.
Paul Riviere automatically qualified with his second place in epee. To make the finals, he defeated Sean Callaghan of UC San Diego in a close 12-11 contest. Riviere was 8-3 in pool play. Freshman Ben Riviere was 7-4 in pool play and ended up fifth overall, just missing out on the direct elimination rounds.
Rohan was the top finisher for the women’s sabre team. She lost in the final to Alyssa Hofilena of Air Force, 15-9. To make the final, she turned away her teammate and fellow freshman Stephanie Wang in a 15-12 bout. Wang went on to finish third with a 15-12 victory over Megan Gesner of UC San Diego. In pool play, Rohan was 6-1, Wang was 5-2 and sophomore Avery Youngblood was 3-4.
Freshman Stephen Aman took third in the men’s foil. He went 6-4 in pool play to make the top four. Aman fell in the semifinals to Chiang of Air Force, 15-10. He bounced back to win the third place match, 15-4, over Chan of UC San Diego. Other men’s foil participants included Jusitn Lee and James Manson. In pool play, both fencers went 5-5 and were unable to advance.
Also fencing for Stanford were Daniel Wolfson and Dan McHugh in men’s sabre and Eliza Klyce in women’s foil. Klyce finished third overall with a win over Nicole Chiang of UC San Diego in the third place match. Klyce lost her semifinal to Mary Mcelwee of Air Force, 15-1. Klyce went 5-3 in pool matches. In men’s sabre, Wolfson placed fourth after losing two bouts in the elimination rounds. He was 9-2 in pool play. McHugh went 3-8 in pool matches.
The complete list of selections for the NCAA Championships will be released on Tuesday with automatic qualifiers and at-large bids released. The NCAA Championships will take place in Columbus, Ohio at Ohio State from March 20-23.