FENCERS OF THE WEEK (Feb. 7-13, 2011)


CF360 FENCERS OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE  (2009-11 seasons)


RELEASE: Feb. 16, 2011             CONTACT: Pete LaFleur (editor@collegefencing360.com)
Yale's Cornelius Saunders, Princeton's Eliza Stone Named CF360 National Fencers of the Week
Saunders also College Fencing Rookie of the Week; Columbia's Loweye Diedro and Harvard's Mike Raynis round out CF360 Primetime Performers.

Several of the top college fencing teams were idle during the past week (or fencing on a limited scale), but the annual Ivy League Round-Robin Championships were contested and produced some thrilling and noteworthy results. After the dust had settled, the Yale came one touch shy of knocking off four ranked teams (losing the team title to Harvard by the narrowest of margins) while the Princeton women repeated as Ivy League champions – in the home confines of Jadwin Gym.

Yale freshman men's foilist
Cornelius Saunders (Rye, N.Y.) and Princeton sophomore women's sabreist Eliza Stone (Chicago, Ill.) have been named the CF360 National Fencers of the Week for Feb. 7-13, 2011, as presented by CollegeFencing360.com (CF360). Saunders, who also was named the College Fencing Rookie of the Week, and Stone are  joined by Columbia sophomore women's sabreist Loweye Diedro (Freeport, N.Y.) and Harvard freshman men's epeeist Mike Raynis (Chaysworth, Calif.) in comprising the CF360 Primetime Performers of the Week.

The Primetime Performer designation – awarded regularly on sister sites CollegeSoccer360com and CollegeBaseball360.com, in addition to being a lead feature on the soon-to-be-launched CollegeSports360.com hub site – seeks to recognize achievement based primarily on situational factors, and not solely on raw stats. Selection for the CF360 weekly awards are based on any/all of the following "primetime" criteria:

• In general, preference is given based on the quality of the opponents and situational factors involved in the fencer's accomplishments (including contribution to team success).
• Exhibited strong leadership and/or involved in clutch performances, such as match-winning bouts, noteworthy upsets, etc.
• Overcame adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
• Bonus consideration is given for key performances away from team's home facility.

Capsule tributes for all four fencers follow below (with action photos included; headshots of all four in right sidebar). Thanks as always to the respective schools for providing the various photos (special thanks to Greg Carroccio of ivysports.com for helping produce a higher-res Saunders headshot).

College Fencing Primetime Performers of the Week
(Feb. 7-13, 2011 ... presented by CollegeFencing360.com)

Loweye Diedro  (women's sabre ... Columbia ... So. ... Freeport, NY)
Mike Raynis  (men's epee ... Harvard ... Fr. ... Chatsworth, CA)
*Cornelius Saunders  (men's epee ... Yale ... Fr. ... Rye, NY)
*Eliza Stone  (women's sabre ... Princeton ... So. ... Chicago, IL)
* Saunders and Stone are the CF360 National Fencers of the Week (Saunders also is the College Fencing Rookie of the Week).

CF360 National College Fencers of the Week

Cornelius Saunders A220
Men's Epee ... Yale
Fr. ... Rye, New York

Showed the poise of a veteran in several high-pressure situations, delivering a series of clutch wins vs. four different top-10 teams as the upset-minded Yale men came one touch shy of winning the Ivy League Round-Robin Championships (4-1; lost final match 13-14 vs. #2 nationally-ranked Harvard) ... finished atop the men's epee stages with a 13-2 record (one of his losses was 4-5) ... swept all of his bouts in the late stages of the showdown with Harvard, which ultimately claimed a 5-4 edge in epee for the narrow overall win ... edged freshman phenom MIke Raynis early in round vs. Harvard (5-4), adding 5-1 win over Ben White and huge 5-4 victory over James Hawrot (2010 NCAA entrant) to give Bulldogs 13-12 overall lead in the team scoring ... helped set up winner-take-all battle with Harvard by winning two bouts in 14-13 win over #6 Princeton (the Ivy League defending champs), splitting vs. All-Americans Jonathan Yergler (4-5) and Mike Elfassy (5-1) and adding 5-4 win over talented sophomore Edward Kelly ... his key day-2 bouts also included a sweep in 15-12 win over #7 Penn (all 5-4 thrillers), vs. top newcomer Cliff Fishler, 2010 NCAA entrant Jacob Wischnia and Joe Isaacs ... had earlier day-1 sweep in 19-8 win over Brown (5-1 vs. Kelly McGuire, 5-0 Benjamin McDonald, 5-2 Alexander DePaoli) and went 2-1 against #8 Columbia (19-8), with his only subpar bout coming in 0-5 loss to Alen Hadzic (beat Magnus Ferguson 5-3 and Sean Leahy, 5-2).

Eliza Stone A250
Women's Sabre ... Princeton
So. ... Chicago, Illinois

Lived up to her status as one of college fencing's top  sabreists (placed 6th at '10 NCAAs), leading the #4 nationally-ranked Princeton women to a repeat title at the Ivy League Round-Robin Championships ...tied atop the women's sabre standings, matching the 16-2 record posted by Harvard's Caroline Vloka ('10 NCAA champ) and Columbia upstart Loweye Diedro ... racked up an 87-30 scoring edge, allowing only 1.7 points per touch (a great avg. in sabre fencing) ... shut out six of her opponents (5-0) and beat three others 5-1, allowing 0-2 touches in 14 of her 16 wins (she had only one 5-4 win) ... nearly went unbeaten, with her only losses coming 4-5 and 3-5 ... registered three huge wins – 5-2 vs. All-American Sammy Roberts and 5-2/5-3 vs. twins Loweye and Essane Diedro – in team's 15-12 win over #6 Columbia, as the Tigers opened day-2 in match that ultimately decided the team title ... played lead role in key day-1 win over #3 Harvard, including 5-4 win over 2010 NCAA entrant Elena Helgiu (also beat Hayley Levitt 5-0 and lost to Vloka, 3-5) ... split vs. Penn's veteran All-America duo – 4-5 vs. Dominika Francizszkowicz and 5-2 vs. Danielle Kamis – and added 5-0 win over Diana Ark, as Tigers clinched Ivy title with 17-10 win over #8 Quakers ... swept pair of day-1 opponents, in 21-6 win over Cornell (5-1 vs. '10 NCAA entrant Beverly Yang, 5-0 Anna Bardakh, 5-1 Audrey Speer) and 22-5 decision vs. Brown (5-2 vs. Caitlin Taylor,  5-0 Lauren Rojas, 5-1 Christina Johantgen) ... posted 5-2 win over another 2010 NCAA participant (Madeline Oliver) in yet another sweep, during 20-7 match vs. Yale (5-0 vs. Brenda Seah and Lucy Partman) ... has compiled a 45-7 record in dual meets this season, after going 77-18 as a freshman (122-25 career mark).

Other CF360 Primetime Performers of the Week

Loweye Diedro A230
Women's Sabre ... Columbia
So. ... Freeport, New York

Extended her strong 2010-11 season at the Ivy League Round-Robin Championships, tying atop the women's sabre rankings with a 16-2 record while helping lead the #6 nationally-ranked Columbia women to a runner-up finish ... matched the records of 2010 NCAA champion Carolina Vloka (Harvard) and All-American Eliza Stone of Princeton, which repeated as the Ivy champs ... her top wins included a 5-2 bout vs. Vloka, along with a sweep of Penn All-Americans Danielle Kamis (5-4) and Dominika Franciszkowicz ... totaled more than twice as many touches as her opponents (85-40), allowing only 2.2 touches per bout (an impressive avg. in sabre) ... posted five 5-0 wins and two more by 5-1 margins (held opponent to 0-2 touches in 10 of her 16 wins) ... swept the  sabreists from #8 Penn (also 5-0 vs. Jenna Stahl), in a key 15-12 team win on day-1 ... added huge sweep on day-2, in another 15-12 Lions victory (this time vs. #3 Harvard) ... her other bouts vs. the Crimson included a 5-1 win over 2010 NCAA participant Elena Helgiu and a tight bout with emerging force Hayley Levitt (5-4) ... her only losses of the weekend came against Stone (2-5) and her Princeton teammate Joanna Cihomski (3-5), who nearly earned 2010 All-America honors (13th at NCAAs) ... turned in a 5-3 win over Tigers rookie sensation Diamond Wheeler, but #4 Princeton emerged with the 15-12 win ... her day-1 bouts included an opening sweep of Yale (21-6), highlighted by a 5-4 victory over 2010 NCAA entrant Madeline Oliver (also 5-0 vs. Brenda Seah and 5-3 vs. Lucy Partman) ... closed day-1 with 3-0 run vs. pesky Cornell squad (21-6), besting 2010 NCAA participant Beverly Yang 5-2 (5-4 vs. Audrey Speer, 5-0 Anna Bardakh) ... ended up sweeping five of the six opponents, including a 3-0 run against Brown (23-4): 5-1 vs. Caitlin Taylor, plus 5-0 shutouts of Lauren Rojas and Christina Johantgen ... has combined with her twin sister Assane to provide big boost to Columbia sabre squad, after both fenced sparingly as freshmen (behind departed All-Americans Daria Schneider and Jackie Jacobson, along with current juniors Sammy Roberts and Stephanie Aiuto) ... has compiled a 33-17 record in dual-meet bouts this season (did not fence in any duals as a freshman).

Mike Raynis A300

Men's Epee ... Harvard
Fr. ... Chatsworth, California

Won 5-4 bout in the most dramatic of situations, besting Yale's Peter Cohen in final bout of match to give #3 nationally-ranked Harvard men the Ivy League Round-Robin Championship (the Crimson went 5-0 while the darkhorse Bulldogs finished 4-1) ... answered Cohen's late tying touch (0:31) with the winning point, with 16 seconds left in regulation ... fenced in numerous close bouts and came out on top in most of them, finishing second in the men's epee standings (12-3; trailing only Yale's Cornelius Saunders who was 13-2) ... lost another thrilling bout (4-5 vs. Cornelius) in his first bout against Yale, but added 5-3 win over Benjamin Mappin-Kasirer that forged 3-3 team score in the round (the Crimson finished with a 5-4 edge in the team score) ... closed day-1 with huge sweep of veteran epeeists from #6 Princeton, the defending Ivy champs, besting pair of All-Americans (5-3 vs. Mike Elfassy, 5-4 Jonathan Yergler) along with a 5-2 bout vs. talented sophomore Edwar Kelly (5-2) ... two of his losses came in opening match vs. #8 Penn (16-11), dropping 3-5 bout vs. NCAA Tournament veteran Jacob Wischnia (also 4-5 vs. top newcomer Cliff Fishler and 5-2 win vs. Joe Isaac) ... turned in final-day sweeps vs. Brown (22-5; 3-2 Benjamin McDonald, 5-2 David Sonshine, 5-4 Kelly McGuire) and #8 Columbia (18-9; 5-4 Sean Leahy, 5-1 Dylan Knox, 5-4 Alen Hadzic) ... has held U.S. #1 ranking among under-19 men's epeeists.