March 22, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Irish finished second overall at the 2009 NCAA Fencing Championship, held inside the Multi-Sports Facility on the campus of Penn State. Notre Dame finished with 182 wins, while the Nittany Lions of Penn State claimed the Championship with 195. Over the Championship's final two days, the Irish were able to catch and subsequently pass rival Ohio State, which finished in third with 166 points.
In women's foil, Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky.) earned the silver medal for the Irish, while teammates Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Ewa Nelip (Katowice, Poland) finished tied for third in women's epee. All told, coach Bednarski's squad featured 10 All-Americans including foil silver medalists Reese and Gerek Meinhardt (San Fransisco, Calif.). Meinhardt was Notre Dame's first men's foil silver medalist since Ozren Debic in 2000, while Reese was Notre Dame's first women's foil silver medalist since Alicja Kryczalo in 2005.
In women's epee pool play, Hurley and Nelip helped narrow the gap with Penn State, earning an impressive sweep (4-0) versus the Nittany Lions as both Hurley and Nelip took out PSU's Nina Westman and Anastasia Ferdman. Hurley's win over Westman was a 4-3 overtime bout, while her spirited defeat of Ferdman also came in overtime, 5-4. Nelip also beat Ferdman and then disposed of Westman in overtime, 4-3, to complete the sweep. Hurley finished pool play in second with 21 wins, including eight on Sunday. Nelip finished pool play as the fourth seed with 17 wins, including six on Sunday.
In the subsequent semifinal bouts, both Hurley and Nelip held late leads but neither could advance to the finals as Hurley was beat, 15-13, by PSU's Ferdman and Nelip was defeated, 15-13, by Harvard's Noam Mills. The epee duo ended tied for third to garner first team All-America status.
In women's foil, sophomore Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky.) advanced to the semifinals as she finished pool play with 19 wins, including seven on Sunday, and a plus 48 touch indicator, good for fourth place. In the semifinals, she upset top-seeded Oksana Dmytruk of Ohio State, 13-11, to advance to the gold medal bout versus Penn State's Doris Willette.
In the finals, Reese and Willette failed to score any touches until Reese landed one with just 25 seconds remaining in the first period. Reese then took a 2-0 lead into the first break. Willette scored the next two to tie the bout and the duo traded touches until Willette pulled ahead, 6-5, entering the second break. Willette went on to win, 15-5.
Also competing in women's foil, Adrienne Nott (Pittsford, N.Y.) recorded 14 wins, including six on Sunday, to finish in ninth place, garnering third team All-American honors in the process. Nott has earned All-American honors in all four of her seasons with the Irish. She is just the 18th fencer in program history (and seventh women's sabreist) to do so and the first to accomplish the feat since Valerie Providenza in 2007.
Eileen Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.) had a strong second day, vaulting into sixth place behind eight wins in Sunday's three rounds. With the sixth place finish, Hassett earned second team All-American honors for the second consecutive year. All told, she posted 15 wins at the Championship and recorded a +22 indicator margin. Sarah Borrmann (Beaverton, Ore.) added seven wins on Sunday for a two-day total of 12, with a +2 indicator margin. She finished in 13th, just three touches scored shy of earning All-American accolades.
Notre Dame's 2009 All-Americans (Finish/Team)
Top-Five Team Standings (Final Point Total) 1. Penn State (195) 2. Notre Dame (182) 3. Ohio State (166) 4. Columbia (151) 5. Harvard (116)