INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After three days of fierce competition, the Buckeyes hold on to their second place position following the first three rounds of women's competition. Despite being down one women's sabre fencer, the team contributed 45 points to the overall team's 131 points. Notre Dame remains in first place with 152 points.
During the first round of women's epee and the second round of women's foil, arena conditions began to affect the fencers' performances and competition halted for one hour and forty-five minutes to resolve a problem with condensation on the strips from the layer of ice underneath. Though foilist Alanna Goldie finished the second round undefeated through four bouts, she said the break affected their fencing.
"The hour break really hurt me," Goldie said. "I was fencing super well and then we hit the break and I was just flat. I was cold, tired, a little bit hungry. I didn't manage my time very well during the break because we didn't know when [competition] was going to start. It hurt me, but I still survived in the end."
Goldie and Eleanor Harvey represented the Buckeyes in women's foil, leading the women's unit with 22 points. Goldie finished the first three rounds in fifth place with a record of 11-4. Eleanor Harvey claimed sixth place after the first rounds of pool competition, also with a record of 11-4. Harvey had several key bouts, including a 5-2 defeat over FIE No. 1 ranked Lee Kiefer of Notre Dame. Harvey also ruined Margaret Lu of Columbia's undefeated streak, handing the current first-place foilist a 3-2 loss in overtime.
"Today was kind of a weird day," Harvey said. "I beat some of the tougher people here, some of the people I was most worried about fencing. I lost a couple I don't think I should have, but I'm pretty happy with how I was able to bounce back after some of my losses. Tomorrow we have a lot of tricky people. We just need to take it one bout at a time and really try to stay in the present."
The epee unit faced tough competition in the first three pools, fencing against No. 2 ranked Columbia and No. 3 ranked Notre Dame. Eugenia Falqui finished the first rounds in eighth place with a record of 8-7. Emma von Dadelszen claimed five wins, ending the day in 22nd.
Sarah Merza made her NCAA Championships debut in women's sabre, finishing the day in fifth place with a record of 10-5, suffering only two losses through rounds two and three.
The women will pick up pool competition tomorrow at 9 a.m. Semi-final and final rounds will begin at 1:30 p.m.
NCAA Fencing Championships
March 25, 2017
Indiana Farmers Coliseum - Indianapolis, Ind.
5 - Sarah Merza
Buckeyes Set for Zone Championships