March 22, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Notre Dame fencing team sits tied atop a cluttered leaderboard after the opening day of fencing at the NCAA Championship Thursday at French Field House with 51 total points. The Irish women's epee squad led the way with 20 bout victories (out of a possible 28) on the day.
Joining Notre Dame at the top of the standing after the first day are Ohio State and Penn State, while Princeton trails by only one point with 50 and St. John's sits fifth overall with 48. Along with Notre Dame women's epee claiming 20 total points, the women's foil representatives scored 17 points and women's sabre claimed 14 points.
Ashley Severson (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) and Nicole Ameli (Las Vegas, Nev.) matched each other on the first day of competition, posting identical 10-4 marks in women's epee. The 10 victories places them in a tie for fifth with Severson holding the tiebreaker with a +15 indicator as compared to Ameli's +13 indicator.
The Irish duo's day was mirrored with nearly identical important wins, including decisions over Northwestern's Courtney Dumas, Ohio State's Caroline Piasecka and Alina Ferdman of St. John's. Overall, Penn State's Margherita Guzzi Vincenti and Northwestern's Kate Cavanaugh lead the weapon with matching 13-1 records.
In women's foil, Grace Hartman (St. Paul, Minn.) sits in fifth place after putting together a 10-4 day, while Madison Zeiss (Los Angeles, Calif.) is 12th after finishing at 7-7. Hartman's most impressive victory on day one came when she knocked off Penn's Luona Wang (3-2), who finished the day in second place with a 12-2 record.
Zeiss endured an up-and-down day that saw important victories over Ohio State's Allison Henvick (5-3) and Harvard's Alexandra Kiefer (5-0) but tough losses to Columbia's D'Meca Homer (5-4) and Brown's Kathryn Hawrot (5-3). Ohio State's Mona Shaito leads the weapon after posting a perfect 14-0 day with a +40 indicator.
Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash.) led the way for the Irish women's sabre unit, finishing the day with nine victories. Abigail Nichols (Concord, Mass.), meanwhile, finished the day with five wins. Penn State's Monica Aksamit and Duke's Rebecca Ward lead overall with 12-2 records after day one.
Osier started the day red hot for Notre Dame, posting a perfect 5-0 mark in round one but struggled down the stretch, finishing with a record of 4-5 over the following three rounds. Her biggest victory of the day came in a 5-4 victory over Eliza Stone of Princeton, last year's NCAA women's sabre silver medalist. Osier sits in fifth with her 9-5 record.
Nichols' day played out much the opposite of Osier, starting the day slow before finishing with a fourth-round sweep over North Carolina's Gillian Litynski (5-2), UC-San Diego's Elissa Gesner (5-3) and Stanford's Julia Klepner (5-0). Nichols is currently tied for 18th with a 5-9 record.
Women's fencing action concludes Friday with rounds five through seven of round-robin play. Following the completion of those rounds, the top four finishers in each weapon will fence simultaneous semifinal 15-touch bouts, with the winners fencing to determine the individual champion, and the losers being awarded a tie for third place. An institution's place in the Championship will be based on points earned by each individual win in pool play only.
Check back with UND.com for a complete recap of the second day of the 2012 NCAA Championship. Fans also can follow along with updated overall results via http://www.prisedefer.com/NCAA and twitter updates via @NDSIDBrent.
2012 NCAA Championship Overall Team Standings - Day One: 1 NOTRE DAME 51 1 Ohio State University 51 1 Pennsylvania State University 51 4 Princeton University 50 5 St. John's University 48 6 Harvard University 41 7 Columbia/Barnard 35 7 Pennsylvania, University of 35 9 Northwestern University 34 10 Temple University 23 11 Duke University 22 12 Brown University 13 13 Cornell University 10 14 Stanford University 8 14 Yale University 8 16 UNC, Chapel Hill 5 17 Boston College 2 17 Sacred Heart University 2 19 M.I.T. 1 19 U.C. San Diego 1