Men's fencing No. 1, women No. 6 heading into NCAA Regional

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's fencing team stayed atop the most recent set of rankings while the women's team slipped one spot to No. 6 in the country, according to the Coaches Poll released Tuesday (March 5). The teams will head to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional this Saturday, March 9 in Easton, Pa. at Lafayette College.

The Nittany Lion men are now a unanimous No. 1, after opening second in the initial 2013 poll (Jan. 22) and rising to the top spot in the season's second polling (Feb. 6). The women's team was previously ranked No. 5 in both the January and February polls, but now find themselves in the No. 6 spot after a 2-3 performance at Duke, and a 0-4 performance at Temple.

This weekend 24 Nittany Lion fencers will compete in the Regional Competition in hopes of qualifying for Nationals, held March 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas. Penn State will be searching for its third NCAA Fencing Combined Men's and Women's Championship in five years, and its thirteenth overall.

The men's foil team will send five of its members to the Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, all of whom have impressed this season. Senior Olympian Miles Chamley-Watson (18-1), and All-American David Willette (20-3) will lead the Nittany Lions. Other competitors will include freshman Nobuo Bravo (33-7), junior Jeremy Goldstein (32-9), and sophomore David Gomez-Tanamachi (35-15).

The men's epee team will be represented by four Nittany Lions at the Regional Competition. Sophomore Benjamin Russell joined Penn State in the beginning of 2013 and found immediate success, finishing the regular season with a 22-10 record. Senior Vernon O'Garra (33-17), sophomore Jeffrey Miller (22-14), and sophomore Yasser Mahmoud (22-24) will also compete.

Men's saber will send three fencers to the competition. Junior team captain Adrian Bak will carry a 21-8 record into the Regional. Freshman Kaito Streets had an impressive freshman year, and finished the regular season with a 44-19 record. Freshman Shaul Gordon (24-10) also had an impressive start to his Penn State career, and will compete in the Regional.

Freshman Clarisse Luminet (40-14) will ride her success into the competition to lead the women's foil team. Sophomore All-American Alina Antokhina (40-22) will look to improve on her fourth place finish in last year's Regional. Junior Kylei McGill-Patterson (30-32), and sophomore Kane Gladnick (18-9) will also compete.

Former NCAA Champion Margherita Guzzi Vincenti will lead the women's epee team into the competition with her impressive 37-5 record. Senior Ana Coutinho (15-35), junior Anne Stephenson (15-46), and freshman Rebecca Stanley (17-41) will also compete.

The women's saber team will be lead by junior Nicole Glon (48-20), who will look to improve on her second place finish at 2012's Regional. Team captain Jessica Russo (51-23), sophomore Elizabeth Rapp (37-22), and newcomer Brianne Cavaliere (9-12) will compete as well.

Results from this Saturday's Regional will be posted on at the conclusion of the competition.

The complete rankings for the Fencing Coaches Poll are listed below:

1. Penn State - 150 voting points
2. Notre Dame - 130
t3. Harvard - 117
t3. St. John's - 117
5. Princeton - 113
6. Ohio State - 110
7. Columbia - 91
8. Pennsylvania - 90
9. Duke - 61
10. Stanford - 60
Also Receiving Votes: Sacred Heart (49), Yale (30), Brown (26), North Carolina (14), Air Force (13), UC San Diego (11), Brandeis (9), Johns Hopkins (6), MIT (2), and Stevens Tech (1)

1. Notre Dame - 147 voting points
2. Princeton - 142
3. Columbia - 123
4. Ohio State - 113
5. St. John's - 110
6. Penn State - 97
7. Harvard - 87
8. Northwestern - 85
9. Temple - 78
10. Pennsylvania - 53
Also Receiving Votes: Duke (52), Cornell (36), Brown (27), Stanford (25), Sacred Heart (8), North Carolina (4), Wayne State (4), UC San Diego (3), Yale (3), Air Force (2), and Stevens Tech (1)

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Last Updated March 06, 2013