CF360 National Fencers of the Week, Primetime Performers       & Rookie of the Week (2012, #4) ... 

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  (2009-11 seasons)   

Jonathan Yergler A 250

• Princeton's Jonathan Yergler and Ambika Singh Tabbed for CF360 National Fencers of the Week.
• Columbia's Will Spear National Rookie of the Week;
Eight Others Round Out Primetime Performers

RELEASE: Feb. 15, 2012             
Pete LaFleur (

A pair of Princeton fencers – junior men's epeeist Jonathan Yergler (Winter Park, Fla.) and freshman women's foilist Ambika Singh (Skillman, N.J.) – have been named the national fencers of the week for Feb. 6-12, 2012, as presented by (CF360). Yergler and Singh, who helped lead their respective #2-ranked Tigers teams to first-place finishes at the Ivy League Duals (held at Yale), headline a group of 11 honorees among the current CF360 Primetime Performers of the Week for college fencing. Columbia freshman men's sabre talent Will Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) is the CF360 National Rookie of the Week honoree, after finsihing atop the Ivy League Duals men's sabre standings in impressive fashion.  

Princeton junior epeeist Jonathan Yergler (right)

Yergler and classmate/fellow epeeist Edward Kelley were equally deserving for fencer-of-the-week honors, with Yergler receiving the slight nod due to his clutch final-bout wins that delivered 14-13 wins over #3 Harvard and a resurgent Columbia team. Singh's 17-1 record and 86-27 scoring margin were emblematic of a Princeton women's team that blazed through its 6-0 showing vs. the Ivy League opposition, with the Tigers women winning 75% of their total bouts (123-39). Both Princeton teams went unbeaten (men 5-0) and had clinched at least a share of their respective titles before the final round (each already had beaten the 2nd-place teams, the Harvard men and Columbia women).

Brief notes for each honoree are included below, along with action photos (some not yet available for the freshmen but will be added later) and headshots in the right sidebar.

Ambika Singh 2012 awards

The nine fencers who round out this week's installment of College Fencing Primetime Performers include: Princeton's Kelley (San Antonio, Texas), along with freshman women's epeeist Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) ... Harvard senior men's sabeist Valentin Staller (Old Field, N.Y.) and freshman men's foilist Brian Kaneshige (Maple Wood, N.J.) ... Columbia senior women's sabreist Samantha Roberts (Upper Saddle River. N.J.) and freshman men's sabreist Will Spear (Wynantskill, N.Y.) ... Penn State freshman women' epeeist Oksana Samorodov (San Antonio, Texas) ... Boston College senior men's sabreist Peter Souders (Silver Spring, Md.) ... and Duke senior women's sabre standout Becca Ward (Portland, Ore.).

Princeton freshman foilist Ambika Singh (left)

The Primetime Performer designation – awarded regularly on sister sites CollegeSports360, CollegeSoccer360 and CollegeBaseball360 – 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 opponent, contribution to team success and situational factors involved in the fencer's accomplishments.

• Exhibited strong leadership and/or involved in clutch performances, 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.

College Fencing Primetime Performers of the Week
(Feb. 6-12, 2012 ... presented by

(Princeton women ... Fr. ... Epee ... Washington, D.C.)

... Proved she was more than ready for her first Ivy League Duals experience, finishing with a +50 point margin (74-24) en route to finishing atop the women's epee standings (16-2, followed by teammate Hannah Safford at 15-3) ... key member of dominating Princeton women's team that won 75% of its bouts (123-39) during 6-0 tournament ... her 2-1 record in 18-9 win over #7 Harvard including 5-1 win over another top Ivy newcomer, Emma Vaggo ... both of her losses came by a single touch: 4-5 vs. Harvard's Felicia Sun and then 0-1 in classic defensive battle vs. Columbia's Diana Tsinis (went 5-0 vs. other Lions epeeists, including All-America Lydia Kopecky) ... her sweep in team's 16-11 victory over #9 Penn included 5-2 win over All-American Amrit Bhinder.

Brian Kaneshige A 250

(Harvard men ... Fr. ... Foil ... Maple Wood, NJ)

... Key contributor in Crimson's bid for the title at the Ivy League Duals, nearly finishing atop the men's foil standings at 11-4 (Princeton's Alex Mills was 11-3) ... beat Mills head-to-head, 5-4, in a key bout that set up 14-13 decision (won by Tigers on final bout) ... deliverd pair of 5-3 wins over Penn veterans Vidur Kapur and Zane Grodman (14-13 team win) ... came up with huge sweep in 15-12 win over Columbia (key bout: 5-2 vs. Alex Pensler) ... had 65-44 scoring margin.


(Princeton men ... Jr. ... Epee ...
San Antonio, TX)

... French-grip epeeist who finished atop the standings at the Ivy League Duals (12-2), combining with classmate Jonathan Yergler (11-3) in strengthening their claim as possibly the top men's epee tandem in college fencing this season ... his 60-36 scoring margin included key 2-1 record in 14-13 battle with #3 Harvard (5-4 win vs. two-time NCA entrant James Hawrot; 1-2 loss vs. All-American Michael Raynis) ... compiled a similar 2-1 mark to help edge Columbia, also 14-13 (3-4 loss vs. Andrew Tapai; both losses over the weekend by single touches) ... his sweep of #10 Yale included 5-3 win over 2011 NCAA semifinalist Peter Cohen ... had similar sweep in 19-8 match vs. #7 Penn (with 1-0 defensive showdown vs. Steven Jow).

Samantha Roberts A 250

(Columbia women ... Sr. ... Sabre ... Upper Saddle River, NJ)

... Matched teammate Loweye Diedro in finishing second among women's sabre fencers at Ivy League Duals (15-3), with impressive 82-30 point differential ... her sweep (including 5-2 vs. 2010 NCAA champ Caroline Vloka) led 14-13 thriller vs. #7 Harvard ... added key pair of wins vs. both Princeton (5-2 vs. 2011 NCAA runner-up Eliza Stone) and Penn(15-12 team win) ... one of her three losses came vs. Penn senior All-American Dominika Franciskowicz (2-5) ... two-time All-American, as part of Columbia strong women's sabre tradition. 

(Penn State women ... Fr. ... Epee ... San Antonio, TX)

... Newcomer who paced the #1 Nittany Lions women to 4-0 record at the Duke Duals, winning all 12 of her bouts ... her strong fencing helped counteract Duke's solid sabre team, in 18-9 win over the Blue Devils ... posted 5-3 win over Duke All-American Emily D'Agostino ... her production took on greater importance due to the absence of junior teammate Marg Guzzi (the 2010 NCAA champion; '11 semifinalist).

* AMBIKA SINGH  (Princeton women ... Fr. ... Foil ... Skillman, NJ) 

... Sliced up the women's foil competition at the Ivy League Duals, going 17-1 with a commanding 89-27 scoring edge (only 1.5 touches allowed per bout) ... was in the mix for 2012 U.S. Olympic Team before hip injury that forced her to focus on college fencing ... dropped her second bout (4-5 vs. Cornell's April Whitney) before closing with 16 straight wins and an 80-22 scoring edge ... her three wins in key 18-9 win over Columbia included 5-1 bout vs. D'Meca Homer (two-time NCAA entrant and sister of St. John's men's sabre standout Darryl Homer, a potential 2012 U.S. Olympian) ... allowed only three touches (two  5-0) in 16-11 win over #9 Penn ... shut out Brown's Kathryn Hawrot (5-0), a 2011 NCAA qualifier.


PETER SOUDERS  (Boston Colllege men ... Sr. ... Sabre ... Silver Spring, MD)

... Veteran fencer who will be taking aim at his fourth trip to the NCAAs ... closed Northeast Conference competition with a 15-0 record in six-team action at UMass, including a win over All-American Marty Williams from #9 Sacred Heart (the 2012 NEC champions) ... won all 29 of his NEC bouts during the 2012 season.

* WILL SPEAR  (Columbia men ... Fr. ... Sabre ... Wynantskill, NY)

... Talented newcomer following in the footsteps of his brother Jeff Spear (the 2008 NCAA sabre champion as a sophomore at Columbia, later a three-time All-American, the 2010 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year covering an assortment of men's at-large sports, recipient of the prestigious Top VIII Award and salutarian of his graduating class, with a 4.07 cumulative GPA as evolutionary biology major, with an archaelogy major) ... with so much to live up to, the younger Spear is well on his way after finishing atop a strong sabre field at the Ivy League Duals (13-2; 72-44 scoring margin) ... swept fencers from #10 Yale to help deliver 15-12 team win ... his sweep of Ivy champ and #2 Princeton put Lions in strong contention for the upset (14-13 loss) ... his 2-1 record vs. #7 Penn included impressive 5-1 win over All-American Evan Prochniak (2011 NCAA semifinalist) ... his lone losses were tight bouts, 3-5 vs. fellow rookie Sasha Ryjik (Harvard) and 4-5 vs. Penn's Sean Turner.

Valentin Staller A 250

(Harvard men ... Sr. ... Sabre ... Old Field, NY)

... Three-time NCAA participant and two-time All-American who went 12-3 at Ivy League Duals, putting him alone in second and one win shy of tying for first ... totaled more than double his opponents' touches (71-33), allowing only 2.2 touches per bout ... went 2-1 (and nearly 3-0, with 4-5 loss to Jeff Spear) in 15-12 win over Columbia ... allowed only three touches in sweep of Princeton, pushing Crimson to near-upset of #2 Tigers (13-14) ... won 5-3 showdown vs. fellow All-American Evan Prochniak (Penn; '11 NCAA semifinalist) ... two of his losses were 4-5 (also vs. Brown veteran Teddy Weller; third loss was 3-5 vs. Penn's Michael Mills).

Becca Ward mask off

BECCA WARD  (Duke women ... Sr. ... Sabre ... Portland, OR)    

... Two-time NCAA champion ('09, '11; runner-up in '10) who continued her career-long dominance of college regular-season bouts, going 15-0 at the Duke Duals ... has amassed a 69-1 record this season while winning nearly 98% of her regular-season bouts (260-7) spanning the 2007-10 seasons ... her sweep of #1 Penn State included 5-1 win over fellow senior All-American Monica Aksamit and 5-2 bout vs. 2011 NCAA entrant Nicole Glon ... also beat Air Force's Heather Nelson, a multiple NCAA entrant ... claimed bronze medal while fencing for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games.

* JONATHAN YERGLER  (Princeton men ... Jr. ... Epee ... Winter Park, FL)   

... One week after closing 14-13 win over #4 Notre Dame with win in final bout, the two-time All-American and 2011 NCAA runner-up delivered in the clutch twice more – beating two-time NCAA entrant James Hawrot (5-3) for 14-13 win over #3 Harvard, followed the next day with 5-2 bout vs. Columbia's Alen Hadac (also a 14-13 win) ... followed teammate Edward Kelley atop the Ivy League Duals men's epee standings, after going 11-3 with a series of tightly-fought victories (60-47 scoring margin) ... posted sweep of Harvard (3-2 vs. All-American Mike Raynis), went 2-1 in 19-8 win over #7 Penn (4-5 loss vs. Clifford Fishler), 2-1 vs. Columbia and 2-1 in 18-9 victory over #10 Yale (3-5 loss to 2011 NCAA semifinalist Peter Cohen).

* Singh and Yergler are the CF360 National Fencers of the Week, while Spear is the CF360 National Rookie of the Week for college fencing.