DURHAM, N.C. – Three Duke fencers, along with head coach Alex Beguinet, were among the recipients of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s individual awards following the 2016 season, as announced by the conference Thursday.
The three Blue Devil student-athletes earning annual honors included freshman Bryn Hammarberg as Men’s Fencer of the Year for Epee, sophomore Jennifer Ling as Women’s Fencer of the Year for Saber and fellow sophomore Pascual Di Tella as Co-Men’s Fencer of the Year for Saber. Beguinet was Co-Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s alongside Notre Dame’s Gia Kvaratskhelia.
Hammarberg, a rookie from Maplewood, N.J., led all Duke freshmen and epeeists in wins with a record of 52-22, highlighted by a 20-7 showing at the Northwestern Duals. Qualifying for the NCAA Fencing Championships during his first year in the program, Hammarberg finished 14th in men’s epee, just two spots out of All-America contention.
Ling captured Duke’s first ACC championship in fencing since 1973, and the first ever by a Duke woman, by winning the individual women’s saber competition. After completing pool play with a 12-3 mark to earn the No. 4 seed, Ling upset Notre Dame’s Francesca Russo and Tara Hassett in the semifinals and finals, respectively, to secure the conference title. The sophomore out of Cranbury, N.J., finished the regular season with a 57-25 record to tie for the Duke lead in wins.
Di Tella paced the Duke men in wins and tied for the most by any Blue Devil with a record of 57-18 during the regular season. The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native was particularly sharp during the team portion of the ACC Championships, finishing the event with a perfect mark of 9-0. After placing second in men’s saber at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional, Di Tella finished 13th at the NCAA Fencing Championships, one spot shy of earning his second consecutive All-America accolade.
Beguinet, who just wrapped up his 31st season in Durham, guided the Blue Devils to their second straight ninth-place showing at the NCAA Fencing Championships and their sixth top-10 showing in the past seven years. At the conference meet, both the men’s and women’s team placed second in the team standings for the second consecutive season, while the individual competition was highlighted by Ling’s gold medal in women’s saber and sophomore Dakota Nollner placing second in men’s epee. The women’s team capped the regular season with a 19-10 record, while the men posted a season ledger of 18-10.
A complete list of the ACC award winners can be found below:
2015-16 ACC Fencing Awards
Men’s Fencer of the Year for Epee: Bryn Hammarberg, Duke
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Epee: Olivia Adragna, Boston College
Men’s Fencer of the Year for Foil: Axel Kiefer, Notre Dame
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Foil: Sabrina Massialas, Notre Dame
Co-Men’s Fencers of the Year for Saber: Pascual Di Tella, Duke; Jonah Shainberg, Notre Dame
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Saber: Jennifer Ling, Duke
Co-Men’s Coach of the Year: Alex Beguinet, Duke; Gia Kvaratskhelia, Notre Dame
Co-Women’s Coach of the Year: Alex Beguinet, Duke; Gia Kvaratskhelia, Notre Dame