NYU Fencing Finishes 13th at NCAA Championships

NYU Fencing Finishes 13th at NCAA Championships

From NYU Athletics

Five members of the the New York University men's fencing team combined for a 13th-place team finish at the 2016 NCAA Championships. The men's and women's combined competition was held Thursday-Sunday, March 24-27, at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.

Though NYU, the only NCAA Division III school at the Championships, did not have any qualifiers form the women's team, the five men's qualifiers produced 44 victories, eighth-highest among all the men's teams. That was enough to carry the Violets to their best overall finish since taking ninth place in 2005.

"When the year started, I knew we had a good chance of being successful," said NYU Head Coach Steve Mormando. "This was an outstanding performance by our fencers." 

After the women's competition was held on Thursday and Friday, the men's 24-fencer round robin was held on Saturday and Sunday.

The quintet of Mickey Bak, Grant Williams, Daniel Sconzo, Philip Shin, and Hans Engel combined for 29 victories on Saturday and were in 16th place heading into Sunday's action. 

The last eight rounds were held on Sunday, and when the round-robin was complete, the Violets had added 15 more wins for a total of 44, enough to climb to 13th place. 

Columbia University's combined men's and women's team won the 25-team competition with 174 victories, followed closely by Ohio State University with 167.  

NYU finished three points ahead of 14th-place Wayne State University. The Violets and 12th-place Northwestern University both finished with 44 points, but the Wildcats were placed ahead in a tiebreaker due to a better plus/minus record in touches..

"We finished ahead of three Ivy League schools (Cornell, Yale, Brown), as well as several scholarship schools, including Duke and North Carolina," Mormando explained. "That's quite an accomplishment." 

In sabre, Williams recorded 10 victories while Bak produced eight. They finished 17th and 19th in the weapon, respectively.   

In foil, Sconzo (19th place) recorded 10 wins while Shin (21st place) added six.

Engel, NYU's lone epee competitor, also produced 10 victories and finished 17th.

"This is a very young team, with all five of these fencers being underclassmen," Mormando said. "They've come of age quickly, and their performances bode well for our future."