Stanford's Massialas hopes to defend his NCAA fencing title


Stanford sophomore Alexander Massialas will get a chance to defend his NCAA men's foil title as he joins six other Cardinal fencers who qualified for the national tournament, to be held in Columbus, Ohio beginning Thursday, March 20.

Massialas will be accompanied by fellow regional champions Jake Harbour (men's epee) and Vivian Kong (women's epee), along with junior Paul Riviere in men's epee, freshman Stephen Aman in men's foil, senior Francesca Bassa in women's epee and freshman Alexa Rohan in women's sabre.

"We are headed to Ohio with a strong seven fencers," Cardinal coach Lisa Milgram said. "I am expecting great results from our five veterans and am excited to see how our two freshmen perform."

Massialas won Stanford's 10th individual national title and first since 2001 last year while Kong earned bronze in her freshman year last season, garnering first team All-America honors. Harbour was the top finisher in men's epee for Stanford, coming in 18th in the nation.

Aman is making his NCAA Championships debut while Riviere will look to improve on his 21st-place finish a year ago.

Bassa was tabbed second team All-America in 2013 after finishing seventh. She will close out her college career in epee. On the other end of the spectrum, Rohan will be competing for the first time and is the lone Stanford representative in sabre.

Ohio State will be hosting the NCAA Championships at French Fieldhouse. Fencers will compete in a round-robin format of five-touch bouts. After the round-robin, the top-four finishers in each weapon will fence in semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine first and second places, and the non-advancing fencers being awarded a tie for third place.

An institution's place finish in the championships will be based on points earned by each individual. A team will be awarded one point for each victory by its student-athletes for the duration of the championships.

Also qualifying for the championships is Palo Alto High grad Noah Berman of Brandeis University. Berman will be making his first appearance in foil. He lived up to his 11th seed entering the Northeast Regional with an 11th-place finish. He went 7-5 overall in the elimination rounds, advancing to the finals by three touches.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics


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