Mills, Vloka Place Second at NCAA Championships; Harvard Finishes Fifth in Team Standings

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Freshman Noam Mills claimed second in the women's epee and teammate Caroline Vloka was the finalist in the women's sabre to guide the Harvard fencing team to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Men's and Women's Fencing Championships, held at Penn State's Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility.

The Crimson concluded the four-day meet with 116 victories, while Penn State won the team title with 195.  Notre Dame placed second (182), followed by Ohio State (166), and Columbia (151). 

Mills, a 2008 Olympian with Team Israel, entered the championship bracket as the No. 1 seed in the epee.  Mills won 21 of 23 matches in rounds 1-7, including all nine Sunday.  She scored 106 touches and boasted a weapon-best +54 indicator rating.  In the semifinals, Mills edged Notre Dame's Ewa Nelip, 15-13, to reach the gold-medal match against Anastasia Ferdman of Penn State.  Ferdman got the best of the Crimson fencer, topping Mills, 15-9, for the national title.  With her second-place finish, Mills was tabbed to the All-America first team.

Vloka posted a 20-3 record in the preliminary rounds and amassed 105 touches, while surrendering only 52 for a +53 rating, the fourth-best mark among women's sabre fencers.  Vloka entered the semifinals as the No. 2 seed and met Dagmara Wozniak of St. John's.  Vloka held off her opponent, 15-11, to advance to the national final, where she faced Duke's Rebecca Ward.  Vloka, who was named to the All-America first team for her effort, fell to Ward, 15-4.

In the women's foil, senior co-captain Emily Cross posted a 21-3 mark in rounds 1-7 and accumulated 107 touches.  A 2008 Olympic silver medalist with Team USA, she tied for second with +57 rating and qualified for the semifinal in the foil division.  Cross, who won the 2005 individual national championship, dropped her matchup against Penn State's Doris Willette by a slim, 8-7, margin.  Willette went on to win the national title, defeating Notre Dame's Hayley Reese, 15-5.

With her third-place finish, Cross was selected to the All-America first team for the third time in her illustrious career.

Freshman Shelby MacLeod also competed in the foil and took 17th with 10 victories and 64 touches.  Senior Maria Larsson grabbed eight victories in the epee to place 17th.  Larsson accumulated 82 touches to her credit.