April 5, 2016
By Joanne Norell
BOURGES, France – Just a week after her impressive rookie collegiate campaign ended in which she claimed First Team All-America honors and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Fencer of the Year for Foil, freshman Sabrina Massialas added the title of Junior World Champion to her trophy case after capturing the FIE Junior World Women’s Foil Championship on Tuesday.
Massialas won all six of her 15-touch bouts Tuesday, including a pair of impressive overtime wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals to advance to the championship round. Down 11-3 to Russia’s Marta Martyanova in the round of eight, Massialas roared back to tie the bout at 13 and send it to overtime. She secured the winning touch with 3.9 seconds remaining. In the semifinal, Massialas repeated the feat with an identical 14-13 victory in extra time over China’s Yiting Fu.
The San Francisco native then went on to defeat Italy’s Erica Cipressa in the title bout, 15-9.
To get there, Massialas also defeated the defending Junior World Champion, Italy’s Elisabetta Bianchin, 15-6 in the Round of 16.
In 2014, Massialas won the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, as well as the 2014 juniors team competition at the World Championships. In her first season in an Irish uniform, she was the ACC Women’s Foil Champion, NCAA Midwest Regional Women’s Foil Champion and finished third at the NCAA Championships.
FIE Junior World Championships
Round of 64
Sabrina Massialas def. Ana Toldo (Brazil) 15-7
Round of 32
Massialas def. Ying Cao (Canada) 15-5
Round of 16
Massialas def. Elisabetta Bianchin (Italy) 15-6
Massialas def. Marta Martyanova (Russia) 14-13, OT
Massialas def. Yiting Fu (China) 14-13, OT
Massialas def. Erica Cipressa (Italy) 15-9
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.