Category: Fencing

Hall chosen to lead Lawrence fencing program

Michael Hall
Michael Hall

APPLETON, Wis. — Michael Hall has been selected as the new full-time head coach of the Lawrence University fencing teams, Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray announced today.

“During his interview, watching him interact with the student-athletes proved to be the most impressive,” Abaray said. “His ability to adapt his teaching and coaching style for multiple skill levels, while also imprinting his expectations for all in such a short span of time was an illustration of the coach we need for our fencing programs. I look forward to watching these programs develop and grow under his leadership.”

Hall has more than 20 years of coaching experience and comes to Lawrence from Austin, Texas, where he was coaching the University of Texas Fencing Club and serving as a club coach at the Texas Fencing Academy.

“I’m really excited to be selected as the first full-time fencing coach for the program. I’d like to thank Christyn and the administration for giving me this opportunity,” Hall said.

“When I first visited here, I discovered a real excitement for fencing among the student-athletes and the university population. I was impressed by how much individual effort they put into the sport.”

Hall has prior college coaching experience after serving as an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy in 2013 and 2014. Hall, a 1986 graduate of the University of Texas where he competed on the fencing team, also has served as a club coach at the Austin Fencers Club.

“I look forward to working with our student-athletes to help them develop their passion for the sport as well as life skills. Athletics is about taking the lessons you learn in your sport and applying them to the rest of your life,” Hall said. “Even though fencing is an individual sport, you still are a member of a team, and you have to rely on your team to help you through the difficult spots. Fencing, like life, is a team sport.”

Hall replaces Steve Amich, who stepped down after more than two decades with the program as head coach, assistant coach and armorer.

The Vikings put together a solid campaign in 2015-16 with the men taking fourth place and the women fifth in the Midwest Fencing Conference. Freshman Nathan Schlesinger qualified for the NCAA Championships in foil to become the first Lawrence fencer to go the national meet since 2001.

Lawrence names Ayers as Athletic Performance Coach

Tyler Ayers
Tyler Ayers

APPLETON, Wis. — Tyler Ayers has been named the Athletic Performance Coach at Lawrence University, Director of Athletics Christyn Abaray announced today.

Ayers was hired after a national search to fill this position, which is new to the Department of Athletics.

“We are excited to have Tyler join our LU family as our first full-time Athletic Performance Coach,” Abaray said. “He comes from a knowledge-rich environment for the athletic performance industry so his credentials and experiences are impressive. Beyond this and even more striking was his ability to effectively communicate with all of the different people he encountered, including student-athletes. With him at the helm, I am confident that we will build upon where we are and make even more significant strides.”

Ayers was the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Webber International University in Babson Park, Fla. Ayers, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., had served in that role since July 2015.

“I would like to thank the Lawrence University administration, search committee and Christyn for this opportunity,” Ayers said. “I believe my job is two-fold. Number one, it’s about impacting the lives of the student-athletes in a positive manner by taking what we learn in the weight room — hard work, determination, toughness, etc. — and applying it to daily life. This all translates into their life after athletics, molding them into great future employees, husbands and wives and mothers and fathers. Number two, it’s about increasing their athletic performance on and off the field while trying to keep them as healthy as possible. If I can do those two things, I will consider my time here successful at Lawrence University.”

Ayers served as the interim head strength and conditioning coach at Stetson University in 2015 before going back to Webber International. He had worked at Webber International as coaching assistant for strength and conditioning for a number of sports.

A 2014 graduate of Anderson (Ind.) University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, Ayers also holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting and the American Red Cross. Ayers played football at Anderson and served as the team captain as a senior in 2013.

Lawrence opens the fall sports season on Sept. 1 when the men’s soccer team travels to Concordia University of Wisconsin. The Vikings’ first home contest is Sept. 7 when men’s soccer hosts MSOE in the Banta Bowl.

BLU Crew award winners to be selected Friday

APPLETON, Wis. — The first BLU Crew Awards will be selected Friday evening at the Warch Campus Center.

The inaugural event is sponsored by Lawrence University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC will hand out 12 awards to its fellow Vikings and announce the All-Viking Team.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

The categories and nominees are:

Breakthrough Athlete of the Year

Jessica Demski (Gurnee, Ill./Warren Township), softball, pitcher

Jake Gostisha (Appleton, Wis./East), football, defensive end

Patsy Kealey (New Rochelle, N.Y./Ursuline), soccer, goalkeeper

Elana Lambert (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood), tennis

Best Victory

Women’s cross country victory at Concordia (Wis.) Invitational

Hockey 6-3 win over Lake Forest to clinch berth in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs

Women’s soccer 2-0 win over UW-Stevens Point

Softball 5-4 win over Cornell

Men’s tennis 5-4 win over Cornell to qualify for Midwest Conference Tournament

Outstanding Play of the Year

Mattias Soderqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), back-to-back saves vs. Marian

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) to Mitch Willer (Sussex, Wis./Sussex Hamilton) for dunk vs. Knox

Cyra Bammer (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville), kill off face of Macalester player

Mike Deremo (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), goal vs. Lakeland

Renato Engler (Davos, Switzerland), goal vs. Aurora

Ryan Berkley (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), goals vs. UW-Stevens Point

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), victory in 200 breaststroke at Midwest Conference Championships

Troy Miller (Lake In The Hills, Ill./Huntley), NBA-range 3-pointer in overtime at Monmouth

Alic Riedel (Appleton, Wis./East), kickoff return for touchdown vs. Rockford

Alic Riedel (Appleton, Wis./East), big hit on defense vs. Rockford

Upset of the Year

Women’s cross country tops field led by UW-Stevens Point to win Concordia (Wis.) Invitational

Women’s swimming defeats Lake Forest 146-117

Hockey defeats Marian 3-2

Softball gets 7-3 win at Monmouth

Women’s soccer 2-0 win over UW-Stevens Point

Baseball gets 6-4 victory over St. Norbert

Best Individual Performance

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football vs. Grinnell

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), swimming at Midwest Conference Championships

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball vs. Carroll

Liz Arco (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett), volleyball vs. Grinnell

Mattias Soderqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), series vs. MSOE

Troy Miller (Lake In The Hills, Ill./Huntley), basketball vs. Monmouth

Patsy Kealey (New Rochelle, N.Y./Ursuline), basketball vs. Concordia Chicago

Katie Schumacher (Little Chute, Wis./Little Chute), softball vs. St. Norbert

Comeback of the Year

Hockey vs. Lake Forest, trailed 3-1 and came back to win 6-3

Softball vs. Cornell, trailed 2-0 and came back to win 5-2

Men’s basketball vs. Monmouth, trailed 71-62 and came back to win 96-89 in OT

Men’s tennis, Adam Busch vs. Cornell’s Tom Greene, lost first set and rallied to win in three sets to clinch team’s berth in Midwest Conference Tournament

Women’s soccer vs. Grinnell, trailed 1-0 and scored two goals in final 13 minutes to win 2-1

Men’s Rookie of the Year

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football, quarterback

Nick Felan (Highlands Village, Texas), hockey, forward

Josh Janusiak (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee), cross country/track

Nathan Schlesinger (Austin, Texas), fencing

Nolan Spencer (Elmhurst, Ill./York), baseball, shortstop

Max Stahl (Tijeras, N.M./Sandia Prep), swimming

Women’s Rookie of the Year

Lilly Endsley (Rockford, Ill./Guilford), tennis

Mari Hubanks (Sharon, Wis./Walworth Big Foot), soccer, defender

Maddie MacLean (Arlington, Wash./Arlington), softball, pitcher

Arianna Neumeyer (Manitowoc, Wis./Lutheran), volleyball, outside hitter

Emmi Zheng (St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park), swimming

Coach of the Year

Jason Fast, cross country

Steve Francour, men’s tennis

Mike Szkodzinski, hockey

Kim Tatro, softball

Men’s Athlete of the Year

Ryan Butterfield (McDonough, Ga./Strong Rock Christian), football, quarterback

Renato Engler (Davos, Switzerland), hockey, forward

Matt Holliday (Hong Kong), baseball, first baseman/pitcher

Josh Janusiak (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee), cross country/track

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball, guard

Women’s Athlete of the Year

Ryan Berkley (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township), soccer, forward

Clare Bruning (Mondovi, Wis./Mondovi), cross country

Hayley Cardinal (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East), swimming

Tierney Duffy (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield), softball, outfielder

Meg Krautsch (Oshkosh, Wis./West), softball, shortstop

The Viking Award

Brandon Boelter (Saginaw, Mich.), hockey

Tierney Duffy (North Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield), softball

Natalie Kramer (Mendota Heights, Minn./Henry Sibley), basketball

Jacob Lueck (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard East), football

Jamie Nikitas (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South), basketball

Lauren Ray (Hales Corners, Wis./Whitnall), volleyball

Schlesinger competes at NCAA Championships

WALTHAM, Mass. — Lawrence University fencer Nathan Schlesinger finished 24th in foil on Sunday at the NCAA Championships at Brandeis University.

Scheslinger, a freshman from Austin, Texas, posted one victory in his 23 bouts over the course of two days. Schlesinger scored 26 touches and had 114 touches received.

Maximilien Chastanet of Ohio State University was the foil champion.

Schlesinger is the first Lawrence fencer to qualify for the NCAA Championships since Jeff Peyton made his fourth trip to the national meet in 2001.


Lawrence fencer Schlesinger receives berth in NCAA Championships

APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University fencer Nathan Schlesinger knew the situation at last Saturday’s NCAA Midwest Regional — win and you’re in.

Schlesinger, a freshman from Austin, Texas, who competes in foil, took it to the wire and beat Algird Szumlas of the University of Detroit Mercy in overtime and punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships.

“I knew that was it,” said Schlesinger, who received the official notice that he was in when the NCAA Championships field was announced Tuesday. “I knew that was going to be the critical bout to put me over the top and qualify me. I was cloud nine for a little while there.”

Schlesinger is headed to Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., for the NCAA Championships, which take place March 24-27. The foil competition is March 26-27.

Schlesinger is Lawrence’s first qualifier for the NCAA meet since Jeff Peyton completed a four-year run at the national meet in 2001. Peyton also competed in foil. Schlesinger also is the first Lawrence athlete to qualify for an NCAA championship since high jumper Rose Tepper went to the NCAA indoor meet back in 2011.

“I knew going into the (regional) tournament I had to place higher than a certain group of people,” Schlesinger said. “There were two particular competitors that would give me a challenge that I knew I had to beat.”

Szumlas was one of those two and Cleveland State University’s Adam Mack was the other. Schlesinger beat Mack pretty easily but it went down to the final touch to defeat Szumlas.

Schlesinger finished the competition with a 5-6 record, and when he checked the scoresheets, he saw that Szumlas had four wins and Mack had only three.

“I was so excited,” said Schlesinger, who has been fencing for six-plus years. “I signed the scoresheet and ran over to my teammates.”

The Midwest Regional was slated to have five qualifiers from foil and claiming the top four spots were Notre Dame’s Axel Kiefer, Ohio State’s Stanislav Sudilovsky and Maximilian Chastanet and Notre Dame’s Kristjan Archer. Since NCAA rules prohibit more than two fencers from one school from qualifying in any weapon, Schlesinger claimed the final berth ahead of fencers from Notre Dame and Ohio State.

“Nate has worked very hard,” Lawrence coach Steve Amich said. “He came to Lawrence with a whole lot of ability. You have to credit his teammates as well because you’re only as good as the competition you work with on a daily basis. The rest of the foil team was part of this process. It’s very rewarding to have this happen. I’ve been to the NCAAs seven times but none in the last 10 years so it’s nice to get back.”

Lawrence’s fencing history at the NCAA Championships goes back to 1995 when Mike Gattnar won the national title in epee.

Schlesinger leads Lawrence fencers with seventh-place finish at NCAA regional

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rookie Nathan Schlesinger led the Lawrence University fencing team with a seventh-place finish at Saturday’s NCAA Midwest Regional at Ohio State University.

Schlesinger, a freshman from Austin, Texas, took seventh in foil with a 5-6 record. Schlesinger scored 31 touches for the day and was just a minus-5 for the regional.

Lawrence had one more men’s top-10 finisher as Ben Carlick, a freshman from Berkley Heights, N.J., grabbed 10th in foil. He posted a 3-8 record and registered 25 touches for the day.

In men’s epee, Philip Ziller and Connor Schurr won one bout apiece. Ziller finished 12th and Schurr was 13th. Lawrence did not have a representative in men’s sabre.

On the women’s side, Lawrence had two top-10 finishers, Shelby Guinn and Lauren Phillips. Guinn won one bout and registered 16 touches to take 10th in sabre. Lauren Phillips registered 17 touches and placed 10th in women’s epee.

Erin Paxson took 11th for the Vikings in sabre, and Kali Thibault won a pair of bouts and scored 26 touches to place 16th in women’s foil.

Five Vikings earn All-MFC honors

APPLETON, Wis. — Five Lawrence University fencers earned All-Midwest Fencing Conference honors based on their finishes at the league championships this past weekend.

Leading the way was men’s foil, which had two second-team honorees, Nathan Schlesinger (Austin, Texas) and Ben Carlick (Berkeley Heights, N.J.). Scheslinger placed sixth in Saturday’s individual competition at Ohio State University and Carlick was eighth.

Joe Davis (St. Louis, Mo.) earned honorable mention after finishing 10th in sabre.

On the women’s side, Natalie Hagopian (Madison, Wis.) and Shelby Guinn (Billings, Mont.) both earned honorable mention. Hagopian finished 12th in foil, and Guinn was 12th in sabre.

Men’s foil, sabre lead Vikings to fourth at MFC Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Men’s foil and men’s sabre both grabbed third-place finishes Sunday to lead Lawrence University to fourth place at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships at French Field House.

The Vikings finished fourth in the combined team standings with 1,275 points. Ohio State won the title with 1,590. The Lawrence men were second with 690 points, and Ohio State took the top spot with 810. The Lawrence women were fifth with 585, and Northwestern was first with 785.

Men’s foil edged Northwestern 5-4 in the third-place match as Ben Carlick won all three of his bouts for Lawrence. Nathan Schlesinger picked up the other two wins for the Vikings.

Men’s foil started the day with a 5-0 sweep of Illinois, and the Vikings then edged the University of Chicago 5-4 in the quarterfinals. The Vikings fell 5-4 to Cleveland State in the semifinals but bounced back to win the thriller over Northwestern.

Men’s sabre also won a 5-4 nail-biter in the third-place match. Joe Davis won all three of his bouts to lead the Vikings to the win over Michigan State, and William Henry and Kai Kramer picked up one win apiece.

The Vikings swept Illinois 5-0 in the first round, and Lawrence defeated Wayne State 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Michigan downed the Vikings 5-3 to send Lawrence to the third-place match.

Men’s epee finished seventh with a 5-1 victory over Xavier in the seventh-place match. The Vikings started the day with a 5-0 sweep of Purdue in the first round before a 5-3 loss to Michigan dropped them into the consolation bracket. After a 5-4 loss to Illinois, the Vikings defeated Xavier.

On the women’s side, Lawrence’s sabre contingent finished sixth despite having only two fencers instead of three. The short-handed duo of Shelby Guinn and Erin Paxson defeated Chicago 5-4 in the first round before falling 5-0 to Ohio State.

Guinn and Paxson then tied Case Western Reserve 4-4 but won the touches tiebreaker 13-10 to advance to the fifth-place match. The Vikings nearly pulled that one out as well, but Michigan State hung on for a 5-4 victory.

In women’s foil, Lawrence took sixth place. The Vikings started with a 5-0 win over Michigan State before falling 5-0 to Northwestern. The Vikings then defeated Wisconsin 5-0 before losing 5-2 to Michigan in the fifth-place match.

Women’s epee lost its first round match 5-2 to Wisconsin and placed 10th.

Schlesinger, Carlick, Davis grab top-10 finishes at MFC Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nathan Schlesinger and Ben Carlick both posted top-10 finishes on Saturday to lead Lawrence University at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships at French Field House.

Competing in foil, Schlesinger took sixth place and Carlick was eighth to pace the Vikings. Schlesinger and Carlick both reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated.

Jacob Hodges finished 28th and Jack Calkwood was 33rd to round out Lawrence’s foil contingent.

Joe Davis led Lawrence’s group in sabre by taking 10th place. Davis got to the round of 16 before losing to Michigan’s Nitikorn Dornjandaeng. Kai Kramer was 29th, William Henry took 36th and Aaron Phalin was 56th for the Vikings.

Moses Zarkin-Scott took 31st in epee to pace Lawrence with Connor Schurr coming in 41st and Phillip Ziller taking 48th.

On the women’s side, Shelby Guinn and Natalie Hagopian were the top finishers for the Vikings.

Guinn finished 12th in sabre and got all the way to the round of 16 before losing to the eventual champion, Alisha Gomez-Shah of Northwestern. Erin Paxson grabbed 18th place for the Vikings in sabre.

Hagopian placed 12th in foil and also reached the round of 16 where she lost to the eventual champion, Ohio State’s Eleanor Harvey. Lawrence’s Kali Thibault took 23rd, Tia Azimioara was 32nd and Ariana Colderon-Zavala was 52nd.

Lauren Phillips led Lawrence’s group in epee as she placed 17th. Jasper Olsen took 41st and Annabelle Tsai was 45th.

The team competition takes place on Sunday.

Lawrence men, women combine for three wins at NU Duals

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Lawrence University men’s and women’s fencing teams combined for three wins at the Northwestern Duals this weekend at the Castellan Fencing Center.

The Lawrence men went 2-6, and the women finished 1-9.

The Lawrence men posted a 17-10 win over Caltech and defeated the Northwestern club team 17-10. The Vikings went 2-2 on Saturday and dropped all four of their matches on Sunday.

The Lawrence women topped Caltech 17-10 and finished with a 1-4 record on the opening day. Lawrence finished with an 0-5 mark on Sunday.


Fairleigh Dickinson 17, Lawrence 10 (Sabre 3-6, Foil 6-1, Epee 6-3)

Lawrence 17, Caltech 10 (Sabre 6-3, Foil 8-1, Epee 3-6)

Air Force 21, Lawrence 6 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 7-2, Epee 6-3)

UC-San Diego 21, Lawrence 6 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 7-2, Epee 6-3)

North Carolina 24, Lawrence 3 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 8-1, Epee 8-1)

Northwestern 24, Lawrence 3 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 8-1, Epee 8-1)

Duke 26, Lawrence 1 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 9-0, Epee 8-1)

Stanford 21, Lawrence 6 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 5-4, Epee 7-2)

Temple 26, Lawrence 1 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 8-1, Epee 9-0)

Notre Dame 24, Lawrence 3 (Sabre 7-2, Foil 9-0, Epee 8-1)


Lawrence 17, Caltech 10 (Sabre 6-3, Foil 8-1, Epee 3-6)

Duke 25, Lawrence 2 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 9-0, Epee 8-1)

Lawrence 17, Northwestern 10 (Sabre 6-3, Foil 5-4, Epee 3-6)

UC-San Diego 20, Lawrence 7 (Sabre 7-2, Foil 6-3, Epee 7-2)

Notre Dame 24, Lawrence 3 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 7-2, Epee 9-0)

North Carolina 16, Lawrence 11 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 3-6, Epee 5-4)

Air Force 20, Lawrence 7 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 6-3, Epee 6-3)

Stanford 25, Lawrence 2 (Sabre 8-1, Foil 8-1, Epee 9-0)