March 9, 2014

Five Pioneers Qualify for NCAA Fencing Championship

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Sacred Heart men's and women's fencing teams had a program-record five fencers qualify for the NCAA Fencing Championship Sunday at the Northeast Regional round of the NCAA Fencing Championship at Wellesley College. 

Sacred Heart, for the first time in program history, qualified five fencers for the NCAA Championship, which will be held on March 20-23 at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.  SHU qualified three epee fencers, all juniors, with Jonathan Jacovino and Devon Clark from the men's team and Megan Floyd from the women's team moving on to the National Championship.  Jacovino became the first Pioneer to win an NCAA Regional competition by winning the men's epee event. Clark finished ninth and Floyd tenth in their respective events.  This will be the second trip to the Championship for Megan Floyd, who represented Sacred Heart two years ago as a freshman.  Fencers qualify based on their performances during the dual meet season and their results at the regional event with the season result being worth 40% and the Regional 60% of the total. 

Freshman Julia Greene placed seventh in the women's saber and was the seventh qualifier from the region.  She is the second Pioneer women's saber fencer to qualify to the championship and the first to do so as a freshman.  Junior foilist Andrew Holmes placed tenth on the day and was the seventh qualifier from the region.  This will be his second trip to the championship.  He placed thirteenth at the event last season.

"This was a great day for our program", said head coach Dr. Thomas Vrabel.  "I knew that we had the potential to qualify five or six fencers, but it is such a difficult event that this was a truly amazing accomplishment.  It is pretty special that all five of our fencers who made it to the final rounds of 12 competitors were able to finish well enough to qualify.  With five fencers at the event we will have a chance to finish in the top-12 at the national championship.   Several of our fencers have good prospects for achieving All-American status as well."

The NCAA Fencing Championship is an event that combines the results of the men's and women's programs of a university.  The women will be competing on March 20th and 21st and the men will compete on March 22nd and 23rd at Ohio State.