Feb. 26, 2010
Irish fencer Vanessa Rosa walked on to the Notre Dame epee squad as a freshman, and has turned out to be a strong addition to the Irish roster. Last season, the 5-foot-4 El Paso, Texas, native posted a 30-7 (.811) record, and this year, she has tacked on another 28 victories, helping Notre Dame to a 35-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking heading into the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships March 6-7 at Notre Dame's Joyce Center. Rosa recently sat down with UND.com to tell us a little more about herself.
1. How long have you been fencing?
I never fenced before until college, but I took this PE class, and the coach was like, "You should try out for the team." I never even picked up a sword before. The first time I ever even heard of fencing was when I saw it on a cartoon.
2. If you could be any cartoon character then, who would you be?
It has been a long time since I have seen any kind of cartoon, but probably Princess Jasmine because of the magic carpet.
3. Where is the most competitive place to duel?
The most competitive one is probably Northwestern Duals in Chicago, but my favorite one to go to is in New York at the NYU Duals. We have time to go downtown sightseeing and shopping, plus the bus ride of 14 hours is where team bonding really happens.
4. What is your best accomplishment in fencing so far?
I monogrammed last year. I remember when I was a freshman and I would see varsity athletes with their monogrammed jackets and wish I was one of them. So, I am really proud of that jacket, because I worked very hard for it. As a team I'd say, with my weapon we won two Midwest Conference Championships for this year and last year.
5. What is your team goal this year?
6. If you played another sport other than fencing, what would it be?
We really want to win the national championship. We've come in second the past couple years, and it seems like every year we just miss it by a couple of bouts. Hopefully this year is the year where we pull it out and win.
Definitely basketball. I know that I'm short, but I love the sport. I played it in high school, and I really miss it.
7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate chip cookie dough
8. If you could eat just one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would have to go with Chipotle's chicken burrito.
9. What is your major and why?
Accounting. I was originally engineering, but it wasn't for me. I went to the business school and found it as the most viable job option and something interesting.
10. What is your dream job?
I am going to law school next year, so I actually I am not using accounting just yet.
11. What do you miss the most about your hometown?
I miss my family and the food, and most of all, probably my dogs.
12. Since you're a senior, what will you miss most about Notre Dame after graduation?
I will miss the football game experiences, but I will definitely miss the overall feel of the campus and the tradition and spirit of the school.
13. What is your favorite place on campus to go?
I love the Grotto.
14. What dorm do you live in?
15. North or South Dining Hall?
South Dining Hall. I am so close to North, but I have to say South.
16. What do you do to get yourself psyched for dual meets?
It's tough because they are so early in the morning. You have to wake up at 6:00 a.m. for tournaments, so it is really hard to get motivated, because you are so tired still. So, I just listen to my iPod. I have a few things in there that help wake me up.
17. If there was a song to describe your team, what would it be?
"Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus
18. If you were on a deserted island and could only bring three things with you, what would you bring?
I probably bring my boyfriend, Steve, who is also on the fencing team. I'd bring him, a cell phone that could run on solar power with Internet built in, and a jackknife.
19. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I'd go to the moon. I heard there is water there now.
20. If there was an energy drink named after you, what would it be called?
Well my coach is Polish and my last name is Rosa, so he calls me Vanessa Rosca, and that has become my nickname on the team in addition to Mama Rosca.
21. What are some of your favorite coach sayings?
Coach Marek Stepien takes random people's pictures and have people say, "Wow!". He also says ma-mazing instead of amazing.
-- ND --