Cieslar Wins Program’s First-Ever Women’s Saber Title, St. John’s Finishes Fifth at NCAA Championships

Fencing Team at 2019 championships
March 27, 2019

Closing out the 2019 NCAA Fencing Championships, Karolina Cieslar won the St. John's fencing program its first-ever national championship in women's saber and was named First Team All-American as the Red Storm finished in fifth place as a team on Sunday afternoon.
Columbia (178 points) won its 16th NCAA title in program history, followed by Penn State (166 points), Notre Dame (165 points), Harvard (150 points) and St. John's (127 points).

The fifth-place finish marks the 27th-straight year of the illustrious program placing sixth or better at the NCAA's and seven Johnnies earned All-American honors under the guidance of Head Coach Yury Gelman.

Despite injuring her knee in her semifinal bout, Cieslar was able to will her way back onto the piste and clinch a spot in the championship match, defeating Harvard's Veronica Czyzewski, 15-7. The senior from Poland met Penn State's Zara Moss in the championship match. Both fencers valiantly battled in the final but Cieslar took the last two points to win the match, 15-13, and claim the gold medal.
Katarzyna Lachman was the second Red Storm fencer to win her way into the championship match in women's foil and earn First Team All-American honors. The senior battled her way into the championship match, narrowly defeating Columbia's Iman Blow, 15-14. The Poland native met No.1 seed Sylvie Binder of Columbia in the final, finishing as the runner-up in a 15-8 bout.  
In women's epee, Andrea Vittoria Rizzi won 17 of her 23 matches to earn the No. 2 seed and First Team All-American honors. The sophomore met Columbia's Anne Cebula in the semifinals and lost a close contest to the eventual national champion, 15-12.
Fencing in her final NCAA's, Dominique Tannous placed in the top 10 in women's epee for her second-straight All-American honors. The Rhode Island native registered 12 triumphs and outscored her foes by four touches.
Senior Karolina Kaleta finished 18th in women's saber while freshman Arianna Pappone placed 20th in women's foil in her first NCAA appearance.
St. John's Women's Individual Results/Records from the 2019 NCAA Fencing Championships
Women's Saber
Karolina Cieslar – National Champion – First Team All-American, 19-6
Karolina Kaleta - 18th place, 9-14
Women's Epee
Andrea Vittoria Rizzi - Semifinalist - First Team All-American, 17-7
Dominique Tannous - 10th place - Third Team All-American, 12-11
Women's Foil
Katarzyna Lachman – Silver Medalist – First Team All-American, 19-6
Arianna Pappone – 20th Place, 7-16