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March 26, 2010
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. After the final day in the women's portion of the NCAA Fencing Championships, freshman Margherita Guzzi Vincenti (Milan, Italy) is the National Champion in the epee. In the overall team standings, Penn State is still in third place with 90 victories. Notre Dame has a one-win advantage in second place and St. John's has a slight lead with 92 victories in first place.
Guzzi Vincenti, a native of Milan, Italy, transferred to Penn State in January and has been a dominant fencer in the country ever since. The freshman standout entered today's competition in second place with 12 victories. She continued to impress with another seven victories before making it into the semifinal round.
Guzzi Vincenti first beat Notre Dame's Courtney Hurley in the semifinal round, and then went on to defeat Harvard's Olympic fencer Noam Mills for the National Title.
Coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was content with Guzzi Vincenti's win. He said, "[Guzzi Vincenti] did a very good job for our team. She fought hard and did very well."
Teammate and reigning champion Anastasia Ferdman (Maalot, Israel) also made it to the semifinals, but was defeated by Mills in the semifinal round.
In the foil, reigning National Champion Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif.) entered the semifinal round with 19 victories and in second place. The junior made it to the final round, but was knocked out by Columbia's (Barnard) Nicole Ross, ending her chance to win her third National Title win in as many tries.
In the women's saber, senior Caitlin Thompson (Portland, Ore.) just missed the semifinals with a sixth place finish in the regular competition.
Coach Kaidanov was disappointed in Ferdman's and Willette's losses, but was still content with their overall performances and still said the team has a chance to win the overall National Championships.
"I still think we're in this competition," he said. "Notre Dame is still the favorite and St. John's will keep fighting, but I think we still have a chance to win with the men's competition coming up tomorrow."
The men's competition starts tomorrow morning at 10 and will conclude in the afternoon. For live updates of each round in the NCAA Championships and live video streaming, follow along with the NCAA live results. For complete information about the NCAA Fencing Championships, please visit the Official 2010 NCAA Fencing Championships website. For any information on Penn State fencing, please visit GoPSUSports.com.