Feb. 5, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- An undefeated Sunday at the Northwestern Duals had the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams feeling good in their final team warm-up before the upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. Both Irish squads went 5-0 on the final day of competition at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.
How It Happened
The No. 3 Irish women followed up Saturday’s 5-1 performance with an undefeated mark Sunday to improve to 33-4 on the season. They opened the morning with a dominant 21-6 win over Stanford before upending UC San Diego 16-11. The Irish then dispatched eighth-ranked Northwestern 17-10 for their second win over the Wildcats this season. Notre Dame closed out the day with a 19-8 win over Fairleigh Dickinson and a 17-10 win over Air Force.
The fourth-ranked men’s team bounced back from a 2-4 Saturday record, starting the day with a win over No. 8 Stanford, 17-10. The Irish then cruised in a 23-4 victory over Atlantic Coast Conference foe North Carolina before downing UC San Diego 18-9. Notre Dame finished the tournament with identical 20-7 triumphs over Incarnate Word and Air Force.
Sophomore foilist Elyssa Kleiner capped an impressive weekend with an 9-0 mark on Sunday, including 3-0 against Northwestern. Kleiner wrapped the competition with a 20-1 record. Also in foil, junior Erin Dietsche posted a 7-2 record and hit her 100th career win in a 2-0 effort against Stanford. Freshman Samantha Viqueira went 4-1 on the day, including 2-1 in the Northwestern match.
In sabre, sophomore Tara Hassett led the way with an 8-1 mark Sunday, while junior Claudia Kulmacz posted a 5-0 record, going 3-0 against the Wildcats. Junior squadmate Francesca Russo was 3-1 on the day, going 2-0 in the win over Northwestern.
For the men, junior Jonah Shainberg led the Irish with a 12-1 sabre record Sunday, including a 3-0 mark against Stanford. Fellow junior and squadmate Jonathan Fitzgerald went 8-2 on the day, while freshman Arsenii Panteleev was 5-3 and junior Ian Jones was 4-1.
In epee, sophomore Dylan French led the Irish with a 7-1 mark, while classmate Darius Zacharakis went 5-0, including 2-0 against Stanford. Freshman Zachary Zeller posted a 6-1 mark, and classmate Ariel Simmons was 6-3 on the day, including a 2-1 mark against the Cardinal.
The Irish will not fence again as a team until the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, held February 25-26 in Durham, North Carolina. Several Irish fencers will compete individually at the USA Fencing Junior Olympics from February 17-20 in Kansas City, Missouri.
-- 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.