Fencing Joins MPSF
THE MOUNTAIN PACIFIC SPORTS FEDERATION announced the addition of men's and women's fencing with the 2021-22 academic year, giving Stanford a new conference to compete in.
Stanford has been part of the Western Fencing Conference, along with Air Force, UC San Diego, and Incarnate Word. The four now will comprise the inaugural MPSF lineup, with the hope that new programs will develop and the sport can grow in the West with mainstream conference sponsorship.
The inaugural MPSF Fencing Individual and Team Championships are scheduled for March 13, 2022, hosted by UIW in San Antonio, Texas. The NCAA Regionals will be held the day prior on March 12, also hosted by UIW, with the top-four fencers in each of the three men's and women's weapons advancing to the next day's MPSF Individual Semifinals. There will also be a single combined MPSF Team Championship, in which the four schools will compete in the semifinals followed by those winners battling for a conference title.
"We are extremely excited to add fencing to the MPSF," says first year MPSF Executive Director Foti Mellis. "This is a sport with a strong Olympic history, and it continues to show fast growth in the United States and around the world."
Starting this year, the WFC will change its name to the "Western Fencing Coalition." The coalition board will play an integral role in the development of fencing and its "10by30 initiative." The long-term initiative would put 10 NCAA Western Region Varsity Fencing programs on the map by 2030.
"In collaboration with the Western Fencing Coalition, the MPSF looks forward to promoting and supporting our programs and further developing the sport out west," Mellis said.
All four of the programs finished among the top 14 at the NCAA Championships in 2021: UC San Diego was seventh, Air Force ninth, Stanford 11th, and Incarnate Word 14th. Stanford accomplished its placing on the basis of five fencers, each of whom advanced to nationals, with four earning All-America honors. Stanford recorded a program-best .651 individual win percentage (123-66) through the 2021 season.
No other university can be found more than Stanford in the MPSF, which also competes in men's gymnastics, men's volleyball, and men's and women's water polo.