Feb. 4, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame women's fencing team lived up to its No. 3 ranking Saturday, posting impressive wins over some of the nation's toughest teams Saturday on the first day of the Northwestern Duals at the Castellan Family Fencing Center. The fourth-ranked Irish went 2-4 on the day.
How It Happened
The Irish women looked strong among the elite competition Saturday, even while missing top foilists Lee Kiefer and Sabrina Massialas, who competed at the FIE World Cup event in Gadansk, Poland. The Irish went 5-1, including 3-1 against ranked opponents.
The Irish opened the day with a 27-0 sweep over Cal Tech, but lost in a close 15-12 decision to second-ranked Princeton. The Irish then picked up a convincing 17-10 win over No. 5 Penn State and upended No. 9 Temple 16-11. The Irish then picked up a close win over No. 6 Penn, 15-12, before closing out the day with a 23-4 win over Incarnate Word.
The Irish men went 2-4 on the day, falling to the four ranked opponents they faced.
Notre Dame opened the day with a 24-3 win over Cal Tech, but next met second-ranked Ohio State, falling in a 19-8 decision. The Irish rebounded with a 22-5 win, including 8-1 records in both foil and epee, against Northwestern's club team, but fell in consecutive matches to No. 3 Penn State (16-11) and No. 5 Princeton (14-13). The Irish also dropped to sixth-ranked Penn 17-10.
Sophomore foilist Elyssa Kleiner led the day for the Irish, posting an 11-1 record, which included 3-0 marks against Princeton, Penn State and Temple and a 2-1 line against Penn. Sophomore epeeist and reigning ACC Women's Fencer of the Week Amanda Sirico posted a 10-2 record, going 3-0 against Penn State and Penn and 2-1 versus Princeton and Temple.
Freshman foilist Samantha Viqueira turned in an 8-4 mark on the day, going 3-0 against Princeton and Temple and 2-1 against Penn State. Junior sabreuse Francesca Russo and sophomore sabreuse Tara Hassett were both 7-4 on the day. Russo went 3-0 against Penn, 2-0 against Temple and 2-1 against Penn State. Hassett boasted a 2-1 mark against Penn.
Junior foilist Erin Dietsche went 7-1 on the day, posting a 2-1 mark in the Temple match and going 3-0 against Incarnate Word. Junior foilist Reagan Fitzgerald was 5-0 Saturday, while sophomore epeeist Madeline Antekeier was 4-0.
The men were led by senior foilist Kristjan Archer, who went 6-2 on the day, including a 3-0 mark against Penn State and a 2-1 record against Princeton.
The Northwestern Duals will continue Sunday at the Castellan Family Fencing Center. Action will begin at 8 a.m. ET, with the last matches scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Notre Dame Match Schedule -- Sunday
10 a.m. -- No. 3 Notre Dame (W) vs. Stanford
11 a.m. -- No. 4 Notre Dame (M) vs. No. 9 Stanford; No. 3 Notre Dame (W) vs. UC San Diego
12 p.m. -- No. 4 Notre Dame (M) vs. North Carolina; No. 3 Notre Dame (W) vs. No. 8 Northwestern
1:30 p.m. -- No. 4 Notre Dame (M) vs. UC San Diego; No. 3 Notre Dame (W) vs. Fairleigh Dickenson
2:30 p.m. -- No. 4 Notre Dame (M) vs. Incarnate Word
3:30 p.m. -- No. 4 Notre Dame (M) vs. Air Force; No. 3 Notre Dame (W) vs. Air Force
-- ND --
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, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mass communication, and earned her master's degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.