Feb. 5, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. - The University of Notre Dame fencing team concluded the regular season with a total of 12 bout victories Saturday at the Northwestern Duals at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion.
After earning five match victories in their six bouts on the day, the Irish men's squad, ranked fourth nationally, finished the regular season with a record of 29-6, while the women, ranked third, used victories in seven of their eight bouts to conclude with a 25-6 mark.
The men recorded three wins with relative ease on the day, defeating UC San Diego 18-9 and North Carolina 21-6 before shutting out Cal Tech later in the day 27-0. The remaining three matchups came down to the final bouts with the Irish prevailing in two of those contests. The squad pulled out victories in their matchups against Duke (16-11) and Stanford (15-12), while falling in heartbreaking fashion to Princeton, 14-13. In their matchup with the Tigers, the outcome came down to an epee bout between James Kaull (Washington, D.C.) of the Irish and Jonathan Yergler of Princeton with Yergler emerging with a 5-3 victory to clinch the win.
Kaull, while losing a tough match to Yergler, still led the way for the epee unit on the day, finishing with an 8-3 record and going a perfect 3-0 against North Carolina. Reggie Bentley (Little Rock, Ark.) posted nine wins on the day to lead the men's foilists, while an 11-2 performance by Kevin Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.) paced the sabre.
On the women's side, five of the eight victories saw the Irish defeat their opponent while holding them to 10 points or less in the match with those wins coming against North Carolina (17-10), Stanford (21-6), UC San Diego (20-7), Cal Tech (26-1) and Stevens Tech (17-10). The remaining three contests saw a pair of 14-13 decisions and a 15-12 margin with the Irish emerging victorious in two of the three bouts.
Trailing 13-10 against Temple, the Irish used a ferocious comeback that saw the squad claim each of the final four foil bouts, including three in overtime, to secure the narrow 14-13 win. Luck was not so kind in the other 14-13 decision however, as Duke used three overtime victories to pull out the one-point win. The final close call of the day came against Princeton but aided by a 7-2 showing by the foil squad the Irish emerged with a 15-12 victory in the match.
Diane Zielinski (Bernardsville, N.J.) finished as the front-runner for the women's epee squad after posting a total of nine wins. Grace Hartman (St. Paul, Minn.) led the charge for foil after concluding with a 12-2 mark, while Marta Stepien's (South Amboy, N.J.) 10-1 ledger paced the sabre.
The Irish now welcome a near-month long break from NCAA competition as they gear up for the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, which will take place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on March 3-4.
Northwestern Duals Results - Henry Crown Sports Pavilion: