NCAA March Stabness: Quick Hits (After Day 2)

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The men’s field is wrapped up, our individual men’s champions are crowned, and OSU leads the team field.

Judging the Judges (Based on Predictions)

  • Damien – Men’s Epee (2/4), Men’s Foil (4/4), Men’s Saber (3/4). Total: 9/12(75%)
  • Hannah – Men’s Epee (1/4), Men’s Foil (2/4), Men’s Saber (4/4). Total: 7/12 (58%).
  • James – Men’s Epee (1/4), Men’s Foil (3/4), Men’s Saber (3/4). Total: 7/12 (58%)
  • Leland – Men’s Epee (1/4), Men’s Foil (2/4), Men’s Saber (2/4). Total: 5/12 (42%).
  • Monika – Men’s Epee (1/4), Men’s Foil (3/4), Men’s Saber (3/4). Total: 7/12 (58%).

Men’s Epee

  • Semi-Final 1: Brian Ro (Columbia) versus Jake Hoyle (Columbia): Absolutely loved the Hoyle-Ro semi-final and one of the best collegiate bouts I’ve ever seen. A 14-13 overtime victory for Jacob “The Philadelphia Butcher” Hoyle. A slow paced, yet tactically cautious and strategic bout with multiple lead changes. All smart actions, many clean touches, and a battle of wits rather than brawn. A+. Hoyle becomes the first Columbia men’s epee finalist since Alen Hadzic in 2012. He will fence the winner of Weiss and Hudson.
  • Semi-Final 2: Jack Hudson (Princeton) versus Lewis Weiss (OSU): Jack Hudson (Princeton) wins with a 14-13 OT score over fellow Alliance Fencing Academy teammate Lewis Weiss (OSU). Lewis did an excellent job initially luring Hudson into his two meter zone and hitting with some well-executed countertime actions as Hudson approached. As Hudson narrowed the lead by disrupting Lewis’s prep with solid beat attacks (and closing with a fleche), Weiss made a drastic tactical change to become more aggressive and go on the attack with Hudson. At 11-11, Lewis returned to his comfort zone in the 2M region, in which Hudson followed and returned to his aggressive and well timed beats/fleche attacks. At 13-13, both athletes became far less aggressive and retreated into overtime. Hudson finished with a toe touch in OT to win 14-13.
  • Final: Jack Hudson (Princeton) versus Jake Hoyle (Columbia): Jacob Hoyle wins 15-11 to become NCAA Men’s Epee Champion. Don Anthony said the men’s epee final of Jake “The Philadelphia Butcher” Hoyle (Columbia) and Jack Hudson (Princeton) would be an aggressive bout. It wasn’t. One non-combativity call in period 1 and a cautious start to the 2nd period, and :50 into the second period, Hoyle scooped Hudson in six to hit him in prep to take a 1-0 lead. Hoyle came far today with a conservative and low risk approach to his fencing, and it continued to pay off in the final. Small openings, and Hoyle capitalized on tiny windows/drops of Hudson’s hand to take a 4-0 lead. Finally, Hudson attempts to up the tempo and speed up the pace of the bout. It’s exactly what Hoyle wants, and three doubles in a row to close the 2nd period. Hudson comes out in the 3rd with much tighter and less exposing preparations, realizing it was his downfall prior. At 4-7 and 5-8, Hudson scores his first two single lights. Hoyle seemed to anticipate Hudson’s change to disruptive beats and the fleche (same tactic used to defeat Weiss) and two in a row to get up to 10-5. At 10-5, with a comfortable lead, Hoyle begins to go on the aggressive and becomes more on the offensive, attacking Hudson rather than waiting to pull ahead 13-9. Hoyle takes off his mask at 14-10. His hair is still perfect. A final double touch, and Hoyle becomes the 2015 NCAA champion at 15-11.

Men’s Foil

  • Semi-Final 1: Alex Massialas (Stanford) versus Ariel DeSmet (Notre Dame): Alex Massialas (Stanford) wins with a decisive 15-8 victory over 5th year senior Ariel DeSmet. DeSmet put an amazing amount of heart and effort into the bout in an effort to reclaim his title, but Massialas pulled away in the end to win.
  • Semi-Final 2: Nobuo Bravo (PSU) versus John Vaiani (UPenn): Bravo wins with a score of 15-12. Both John Vaiani (Penn) and Nobuo “Clap Ya Hands” Bravo (PSU) are going to have some serious bruises on their backs tomorrow. In a close, exciting bout in which every single riposte from both fencers seemingly landed on the back, Bravo pulled ahead and scored 5/6 unanswered touches after 4-4. Vaiani pulled the score back to 10-9, followed by three unanswered touches by Bravo. A three touch rally back from Vaiani to bring it back to 13-12, and Bravo closed it out with two to end 15-12. Bravo will fence Alex Massialas (Stanford) in the finals. On another note, you have to tip your hat to referee Andrew Foster. Foster refereed the gold medal bout of Reno Summer Nationals, as well as this semi. He is a referee who makes calls with no hesitation, great poise, and you don’t see fencers debate his calls much.
  • .Final: Nobuo Bravo (PSU) versus Alex Massialas (Stanford):  Massialas (Stanford) wins his 2nd NCAA Individual title with a good fight, taking the win 15-10 over Nobuo “Clap Ya Hands” Bravo (PSU). It’s been a good three weeks for Bravo, who took silver in Division I Nationals followed by a silver in the Men’s NCAA Foil event.

Men’s Saber

  • Semi-Final 1: Andrew Maciewicz (PSU) versus Roman Sydorenko (SJU): Got to love how loud the Penn State Fencing team was rooting for Andrew “Manischewitz” Maciewicz (PSU) in his semi-final bout over Roman “Wasn’t Built in a Day” Sydorenko. That energy clearly transferred to Maciewicz who came out fired up and aggressive. A one-sided 15-8 victory over Sydorenko.
  • Semi-Final 2: Eli Dershwitz (Harvard) versus Ferenc Valkai (SJU): We got our first dramatic bout at NCAAs, in which Valkai was down 11-8 and scored six in a row to win 15-11. I’ve spoken to multiple referees, high performing sabrists, and high level saber coaches, and the reaction seems to be mixed. I was skeptical of some of the calls (the attack no, touch right call in particular was questionable). Some have told me strongly the calls were made correctly, some have said the referee had no control over the bout. Watch for yourself and see.
  • Final: Andrew Maciewicz (PSU) versus Ferenc Valkai (SJU): In his second consecutive NCAA Final, Valkai fell to the freshman Maciewicz 15-10. Maciewicz took an early lead, but a rally back from Valkai to 8-7 at the end of the period and the tables turned. Back and forth touches, and Maciewicz pulled away to 13-9. Valkai only scored three touches in the second period, and Maciewicz finishes 15-10.

Team 

  • OSU leads with 84 wins, but with 94 bouts remaining, they will likely lose this lead and fast going into days 2 and 3.
  • Columbia is in second with 81 wins and 138 bouts remaining. They will need a great performance from their foil duo of Lu and Dubrovich to secure this win.
  • PSU is in third with 80 wins and 115 remaining. With Radanovich as their only epeeist, they will need a top finish from her to stay viable against Columbia.

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