|Juliet Hewes finished fifth in the foil competition|
BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Tufts University women's fencing team earned a strong fourth-place finish out of 14 teams at the 2017 New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference (NEIFC) Championships hosted by the University of Vermont on Saturday.
With 467 total touches scored, the Jumbos were behind only NEIFC winner Brandeis (504), MIT (486) and Boston College (481). Tufts scored fifth in both the saber squad standings (158 touches scored) and the epee squad rankings (155), and were sixth in foil (154).
At the NEIFC Championship, fencers compete in opening rounds attempting to be one of 12 to move on to pool play. From there, the top eight make it to the final.
Senior foil captain Juliet Hewes had the best individual finish for Tufts by placing fifth in foil. After advancing out of the opening round, she won four of her five bouts in pool play to advance to the eight-person final. She was defeated by eventual foil champion Joanne Carminucci in the quarterfinals 15-9. Sophomore Zoe Howard narrowly missed reaching the foil quarterfinals. She placed ninth in the division.
Tufts also had two in the top 10 for saber. Junior Bridget Marturano was eighth after advancing to the quarterfinals after posting three wins in pool play. She also lost to the eventual champion in saber Kaleigh Mentzer from Dartmouth, 15-7, in the quarterfinals. Junior Nayab Ajaz tied for 11th in saber.
Senior co-captain Anna Gooch was the team's top finisher in epee, placing 11th in the weapon.
The Jumbos matched their fourth-place finish at the NEIFC meet last season.
Tufts will now compete at the NCAA Fencing Regional hosted by Yale next Sunday (Mar. 12). Tufts' Regional qualifiers are Marturano and Ajaz in saber, Hewes and Howard in foil and Gooch, senior co-captain Chandler Coble and junior Grace Tellado in epee.