COLUMBUS, Ohio ⎯ Denison women's fencing placed ninth overall this past weekend at the 2020 Midwest Conference Championships hosted by Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. During day one of competition, DU's women fencers competed as individuals with each fencer's performance being used to determine 40% of the team portion for day two. The other 60% of the team seeding was determined by the team's performance in the preceding season.
In the women's epée individual event, junior Diyanshu Emandi placed 23rd, senior Hayley LeBlanc finished in 24th, and junior Denise Seifert was 35th. The team went into the second day as the seventh seed, fencing Wayne State in the first round. Following a 5-3 win over the Warriors, the Big Red advanced to play the University of Michigan. Michigan took a 2-0 lead, but DU fought back to take the lead at 4-2. Despite Denison's advantage, the Wolverines rallied to record a 5-4 victory. The epée squad would garner a 5-1 victory over Michigan State in the next round before wrapping up the weekend in sixth place as a team.
Women's sabre also had impressive tallies for the individual event with junior Sé DiFilippo finishing in 35th place and sophomore Shivika Churiwalla in 37th. Leading the charge, however, was ever impressive freshman Tessy Udoh with a 15th place finish. The squad went into the direct elimination facing Wayne State. Wayne State started the round with a 3-0 lead, then Denison snatched it back at 4-3, but ultimately fell 5-4 in a bout that was decided by a single touch.
In the team's final weapon, the women's foil squad finished the competition in 14th after falling in the elimination round to Ohio State, 5-0.
Head coach Peter Grandbois mentioned that "only a few mistakes kept us from putting squads into the medal rounds. We're a young team, and we're learning. We'll be back next year, and we'll be much stronger."
Although the Midwest Conference Championships marks the end of team events for the season, select fencers will return to action on March 7th when they travel to Detroit, Mich. to take part in the 2020 NCAA Regional Championships.