March 22, 2013
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -
Stanford freshman Alexander Massialas overcame a six point deficit in the semifinals and battled through a back-and-forth final dual to claim the NCAA championship in men's foil.
Massialas defeated Penn State's David Willette 15-10 in the final round to claim Stanford's seventh men's foil championship and first since Felix Reichling in 2000. It was a familiar bout between Massialas and Willette, as they were training partners growing up in San Francisco.
Stanford is in eighth place overall and the women's competition begins Saturday. Milgram likes where her team is at and looks forward to the women's team performing well, and helping move Stanford up in the standings, which combine the men's and women's results.
Competing in a first-to-15 format, Massialas and Willette traded one or two points at a time until Massialas reached 10 points and went on a run to close out the victory. It was an impressive stretch as Massialas controlled the tempo and remained poised as he approached the 15th touch.
"It was great as a freshman to bring back a national championship for Stanford," Massialas said. "I came in with high expectations and was able to fulfill them. I was able to come out of that bout knowing I did exactly what I wanted to do from the beginning of this tournament.
"It just felt great."
Massialas had an equally impressive scoring run in the semifinals when he battled back from a 12-6 deficit against Notre Dame's Gerek Meinhardt. After closing the gap to 14-13, Massialas claimed two consecutive touches to win 15-14 and advance to the finals.
"He never gave up and fought to the very end," co-head coach Lisa Milgram said. "He's performed well all year - through big and small bouts - and, as always, he fought like a professional."
Turner Caldwell earned All-America honors in men's foil along with Massialas after finishing 11th.
Rounds 1-3 of the women's competition will begin on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 a.m. (PT). The semifinal and final rounds will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.