Irish Fencers To Host Notre Dame Open

Feb. 1, 2001

The Notre Dame men's and women's fencing teams will welcome 10 schools to the Joyce Center Fieldhouse for this weekend's Notre Dame Open, to be held Feb. 3-4. The event is open to the public and free of charge.

The competition begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, as both teams square off against Michigan State. Subsequent bouts will take place at approximately 90-minute intervals, ending at approximately 6:00 p.m. The event then resumes on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. (with bouts versus Minnesota) and will conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Five pairs of rotating teams will be competing in dual meets at each 90-minute interval, with the 11th team having a rotating bye (Notre Dame's bye will fall on Saturday, in the 4:30 time slot).

Teams appearing at the open include Air Force, Chicago, Cleveland State, Detroit, Lawrence, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue.

Northwestern provides a formidable opponent for the Notre Dame women (6-3), who escaped last week's Northwestern Open with a 14-13 victory over the fourth-ranked Wildcats. The Notre Dame men and women will face Northwestern on Sunday at approximately 11:00 a.m.

The Notre Dame men look to remain undefeated (9-0) through the weekend. That could prove to be a difficult task, considering the presence of a strong Air Force squad. The Falcons' strength lies in epee, led by sophomore All-American Weston Kelsey (he placed ninth at last year's NCAA Championship). The ND-Air Force clash will precede the Northwestern matchup, at 9:30 on Sunday morning.

The Irish women will be led by a dominant sabre squad, which includes senior Carianne McCullough(10-4), sophomore All-American Natalia Mazur(11-7), and freshmen Destanie Milo(15-4) and Jessie Filkins(13-2). The Irish will need strong performances from their pair of All-American epeeists, sophomores Meagan Call(18-7), and Anna Carnick(14-11), while the women's foil squad boasts sophomore All-American Liza Boutsikaris(21-4) and freshman Maggie Jordan(18-6).

The Irish men will look to counter Air Force's dominant epee squad with the return of sophomore Jan Viviani(10-2), who was competing in an international event in Cuba last week while the rest of the team fenced at the Northwestern Open. The men's foil team is led by All-American Ozren Debic(18-1), and fellow sophomore Forrest Walton(12-8). The men's sabre squad is headed by defending national champion Gabor Szelle(15-2) and senior All-American Andrzej Bednarski (9-1).


Saturday, February 3, 2001:
9:00 a.m. Michigan State
10:30 a.m. Detroit Mercy
12:00 p.m. Chicago
1:30 p.m. Wayne State
3:00 p.m. Cleveland State
4:30 p.m. (Bye)

Sunday, February 4, 2001:
8:00 a.m. Minnesota
9:30 a.m. Air Force
11:00 a.m. Northwestern
12:30 p.m. Michigan
2:00 p.m. Lawrence



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