The Notre Dame fencing team faces off against others at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Notre Dame women's fencing at 2007 NCAAs (Madison, NJ; photos by Jim O'Connor and Chris Pedota).
Third-year captain of veteran women's foil group ... has made steady progress in her technique and emotional preparation for bouting while gaining confidence in her ability ... looking to overcome illness that slowed her start to the 2007 fall season ... earlier was slowed in her sophomore season by a nagging foot injury ... made solid progress as a freshman while learning the ins-and-outs of college fencing from veteran standouts Alicja Kryczalo and Andrea Ament ... has strong foundation of technical basics ... a strong leader who has a classical style and team-oriented approach to training ... enters senior season with 95-31 career record in regular-season bouts ... one of seven fencers and 39 total student-athletes who are invited participants in Notre Dame's Academic Honors Program (faculty mentoring) ... entered 2007 fall semester with a 3.63 cumulative grade-point average (posted a 3.83 in 2007 spring semester), as a double major in theology and anthropology ... placed 35th at the annual Penn State Open, during the fall of 2007.
AS A JUNIOR: Compiled a 29-10 regular-season record while competing in all five of Notre Dame's team tournaments, followed by a 16th-place finish at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships and a 12th-place showing at the NCAA Midwest Regional (both held in Notre Dame's Joyce Center Fieldhouse) ... received the Notre Dame fencing program's Alice Langford Award (in recognition of women's foil team leadership) ... her 11-1 record at the Notre Dame Duals included a 5-3 win over Cleveland State's Leigh Pendergrass (a former All-American) ... went 1-3 versus a tough field at the NYU Duals before winning all nine of her bouts at the Midwest Duals (held in Notre Dame's Langford Fencing Gym) and then closing the regular season with a 2-3 record at the Duke Duals and a 6-3 mark at the Northwestern Duals.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Went 29-6 in her 2005-06 regular-season bouts ... received the Notre Dame fencing program's Michael DeCicco/ Walter Langford Award, in recognition of her inspiration and dedication ... started 0-1 at the NYU Duals before winning all nine of her bouts at the Notre Dame Duals ... had another strong showing with an 11-2 record at the Ohio State Duals ... closed the regular season with 9-3 mark at the UC San Diego Duals, with losses to top fencers Senta Breden (Cal State Fullerton) and Jen Chun (UCSD) ... finished 15th at the 2006 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, losing to her teammate Adrienne Nott in the round-of-16.
AS A FRESHMAN: Posted a 37-15 record in the regular season, as one of Notre Dame's top women's foilists in 2004-05 ... went 3-5 at the NYU Duals, 16-7 at the ND Duals, 9-0 at the OSU Duals,and then 9-3 at the Duke Duals) ... finished 11th at the annual MFC competition ... earlier had placed 17th at Northwestern Open in the fall of '04 before reaching round-of-32 at the Penn State Open ... opened 2005 competition by fencing at the North American Cup held in Overland Park, Kan.
PREP & PERSONAL: Graduated from Mayfield Senior High School (which does not sponsor fencing) while training at the Los Angeles Fencing Center, under the direction of coach Derek Cotton ... also has trained with Olympian Felicia Zimmermann ... qualified for the 2003 and 2004 Junior Olympics ... fenced in three 2004 North American Cups (San Jose, Calif.; Arlington, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.) ... member of the National Honor Society and student government ... her cousin Nathan Shirai was a member of the varsity rowing team at Vanderbilt while her cousin Scott Brunasso was All-America baseball player at Concordia ... her uncle Daniel Smith is a Notre Dame graduate ... daughter of Richard and Cathy Cota ... full name is Rachel Louise Cota ... born March 12, 1986, in Pasadena, Calif. ... a theology and anthropology double major, in the College of Arts and Letters.