Mesa Mountain View High School graduate and Yale University freshman Rebecca Moss will make history later this week as the first fencer from Arizona in the NCAA championships, with the chance to be an All-American.
The championships are Thursday through Sunday at Drew University in Madison, N.J.
Moss is adjusting to collegiate fencing quite well.
“It’s a lot different,” she said. “At home, I practiced 3 1/2 hours a day, every day; but now it’s five days a week, two hours a day because I’ve got a lot of class work.”
And even though Moss said it was “difficult keeping up her grades,” she’s pleased with them, having balanced good grades and her sport with about 13 tournaments in her freshman year.
Moss, 18, qualified for the NCAA championships by placing eighth in epee at the NCAA regionals March 11 at Tufts University in Boston. She was also named to the All-Ivy League second team after finishing fourth at the 14-school Intercollegiate Fencing Association championship with a 12-6 record earlier in March.
At the championships, fencers compete in a round-robin of 24 competitors in five-touch bouts. The top four competitors in each event will fence direct elimination 15-touch bouts for first through fourth place.
Getting to that level is quite an accomplishment for an athlete who has only been fencing for six years. However, Moss has quite a few accolades to boast of.
When Moss is home she competes for Arizona Fencing Center in Mesa, which is owned and operated by her parents Roxanna and Rick Moss.
Moss captured 14th place out of 150 competitors at the Junior Olympics, held in Denver, Colo., last month and is already making plans for her offseason.
“Next year will be my last year competing in under-18. I’m hoping to compete in the North America Cups, World Cups and qualify for the U.S. World Championships team.”
The Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep varsity hockey team came home last weekend from Bountiful, Utah, with the USA Hockey Rocky Mountain District high school championship to cap off an 23-5-2 season.
“I’ve coached just about every level of hockey and winning this championship was by far the most fulfilling,” coach Dan Francis said.
The Saints, who are also coached by Mark Ciaccio with Jim Ross serving as team manager, went 5-0 against state champions from Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, Utah and New Mexico.
In the championship game, the Saints came from behind to defeat the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) Beavers 2-1, including fighting off a 6-on-3 power play in the final 17 seconds.
Joaquin Rivera and Spencer Julien scored goals while Brittany Squillante made 23 saves for the Saints in the title game.
“This game was an example of what heart and determination are all about,” Francis said.
“Our players showed their true character by reaching deep down inside to give it everything they had. I’m especially happy for the seniors (Rivera, Julien, Nicholas Verges, Tim Ross and Brittany Squillante) who wore their jerseys for the final time as the best in the west.”
Other team members are Thomas Cunningham, Shane Gleason, Patrick Ross, Connor McLaughlin, Sami Kaldawi, Ryan Hodges, Sebastian Ramirez, Matthew Kron, John St. Thomas, Vincent Francis, Kevin Ryan and Matt Huss.
Notre Dame qualified for the district championship after winning the Arizona High School Hockey Association state title on Feb. 25 with a 3-1 win over Desert Vista.
The Saints also boast the junior varsity state championship having captured the title on March 3 with a 2-1 shootout victory over Phoenix Brophy.
In less than two years in Arizona, Kiwanis Recreation Center’s tennis director Chris Brewer was named U.S. Professional Tennis Association’s district coordinator for the Phoenix-area.
A certified P1 Professional with the USPTA, Brewer is also a certified professional with the Professional Tennis Registry. In addition to continuing to coordinate the tennis program for Kiwanis Recreation Center, as a district coordinator Brewer will play a vital role in developing and coordinating programs to improve the quality of tennis teaching in the Valley. He will also serve as a voice of Valley area USPTA professionals and promote new and exciting programs that are being implemented.
Know someone who deserves mention in East Valley Victories? E-mail or call Billye Jill Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6862.