Jan. 26, 2014
New York, N.Y. - The University of Notre Dame's fencing team competed in it's second match in as many days in New York City, with it's men's squad finishing in second place behind Columbia. The women's team finished third behind Ohio State and Columbia.
Squaring off against Ohio State, Penn State, Harvard, St. John's and Columbia, the Irish held their own against a slew of tough opponents. What surprised the coaching staff the most perhaps, was the men's epee team, who posted four straight wins - three of them with close, 5-4 scores - before being narrowly out-dueled by Columbia's crew of epeeists, 5-4.
Sophomore Garrett McGrath had the best record amongst his teammates with a 9-6 mark, and freshman Conrad Sutter followed close behind at 6-7. Sutter was 2-1 against Ohio State, Penn State and Harvard combatants but struggled versus host St. John's.
Over on the foil strips, competition amongst Gerek Meinhardt, Nick Kubik and Kristjan Archer remained close; Meinhardt logged a near-perfect 9-1 record, with his only loss coming against Ohio State in the first round. Archer followed the veteran leader with an 8-3 mark, and Kubik round out the trio at 5-3. Ariel DeSmet also earned points for the Irish with a 4-6 mark, with Hazem Khazbak finishing the day 2-4.
The foil team lost to Ohio State, but scored vengeance the remainder of the day, besting Penn State 7-2, Harvard 6-3, St. John's 6-3 and Columbia 5-4.
In sabre, the duo of John Hallsten and Kevin Hassett again carried the smallest squad on the men's side, with Hallsten notching a 7-6 mark and Hassett bouting to a 6-8 finish. Ian Dwyer came in briefly against Columbia, winning one bout. Their sole team win came against Ohio State, 7-2.
On the women's side, each weapon class faced it's own unique set of struggles, perhaps none moreso than the epee squad. Fencing without captain Ashley Severson, Nicole Ameli, Catherine Lee and Eva Niklinska fought diligently but could not gain traction against stronger squads. Lee had the strongest record, with an 8-7 mark, while Niklinska was 4-11 on the day. Ameli logged a 7-8 finish, bringing her season total record to 16-14.
In foil, Lee Kiefer went on a tear, best opponent after opponent to finish with a 10-1 record; her only loss was against Columbia at the end of the day. Kiefer's sophomore classmate Nicole McKee was fighting in front of a hometown crowd, and she logged a 6-6 mark; Madison Zeiss also split her bouts with a 5-5 record. Adriana Camacho and Sarah Followill earned points for the Irish also.
In women's sabre, a couple close 4-5 losses provided the motivation to finish strong, and finish they did. The Irish sabreuses bested St. John's and Columbia 7-2, with freshman phenom Allison Barry boasting an undefeated 3-0 record against the Columbia Lions. She recorded an 8-7 mark, second only to Johanna Thill with her 11-4 record. Thill early on logged 2-1 marks against Ohio State and Penn State - she finished undefeated against St. John's and Columbia just like Barry.
The Irish will bus back to Notre Dame late Sunday evening for classes on Monday, and begin preparation for the Northwestern Duals this coming weekend. For all things Irish, check out und.com or go to @NotreDameFencing.