Fencing Team Finishes 2nd at NCAA Finals
For all the successes that Penn State sports achieve, no team comes close to the continuing successes that the Penn State Fencing Team has had over the past 21 years. Since 1990, Penn State fencing has won total 12 national championships and the previous two. (Fun fact: Penn State Fencing’s 12 NCAA National Championships equals the total number of championships of the second most successful Big Ten school’s entire athletic department, Iowa.) Held in Columbus, Ohio the 2011 NCAA Fencing National championship saw the fencing team looking to channel their inner women’s volleyball players and win their third consecutive national championship. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, it wasn’t in the cards this weekend.
After qualifying 11 fencers out of a maximum of 12, the Nittany Lions were at a disadvantage from the start. Similar to wrestling, the fencing competition is decided based upon the combined scores of all competing athletes. Short one fencer, the 11 participating Nittany Lions would have to perform extremely well to keep up with Notre Dame, the #1 ranked program. In the end, the team finished 8 points behind Notre Dame, scoring 168 points.
In the end the Nittany Lions posted 5 first team All-Americans, one second team All-American and two honorable mentions. Team Captain Doris Willette became a four time All-American, successfully reaching the semi-finals this weekend.
Since the NCAA began awarding a national championship in combined fencing, Penn State has never finished worse than 4th place.