March 9, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame women's fencing team turned in a dominant performance Saturday at the Castellan Family Fencing Center in first-day action of the 2013 NCAA Midwest Regionals. With only the women fencing on day one, Irish fencers secured four top-three finishes including earning the top two spots in foil competition.
In a field featuring 20 foilists, Notre Dame's Lee Kiefer and Madison Zeiss posted a combined record of 35-3 on the day to finish one-two, respectively. Kiefer, who finished 18-1 with a +65 indicator, suffered her lone setback of the day against Mona Shaito of Ohio State (5-3), while posting seven total 5-0 shutouts. Zeiss, meanwhile, finished 17-2 with a +46 indicator in earning her runner-up result. The sophomore's only losses came at the hands of teammates, as she fell 5-0 to Kiefer and 5-1 to Grace Hartman.
Three other Irish foilists entered the foil pool, led by junior Adriana Camacho (13-6, +20 indicator) and her sixth-place finish. Freshman Nicole McKee concluded ninth with an 11-8 record and +21 indicator, while senior Grace Hartman finished 10th with an identical 11-8 record but a lower +12 indicator.
At the opposite end of the fencing center, Courtney Hurley (14-1, +37 indicator) placed ahead of Buckeye epeeist Caroline Piasecka to claim first in the women's epee event. Irish teammates Ewa Nelip and Ashley Severson both posted records of 11-4, but Nelip placed fourth with a +27 indicator, while Severson finished fifth with a +22 indicator.
Junior Lian Osier paced the sabre squad, earning a runner-up finish for the Irish after concluding with a 13-2 record and a +38 indicator. Ohio State's Celina Merza posted a near-perfect 14-1 (+42 indicator) record to claim the outright pool victory.
Freshman Johanna Thill grabbed fifth place with an 11-4 mark, edging out senior teammate Abigail Nichols (10-5, +18 indicator). Fellow senior Kathryn Palazzoto also concluded her Irish fencing career with a 7-8 mark.
The 2013 Midwest Regionals conclude Sunday with men's competition in each of the three weapon classes. Tomorrow's competition begins at 9 a.m., with Notre Dame looking to qualify the maximum number of fencers for the NCAA National Championships, taking place March 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas.
Women's Epee Results: 1. Courtney Hurley Notre Dame 2. Caroline Piasecka Ohio State 3. Katarzyna Dabrowa Ohio State 4. Ewa Nelip Notre Dame 5. Ashley Severson Notre Dame 6. Courtney Dumas Northwestern 7. Kate Cavanaugh Northwestern 8. Dina Bazarbayeva Northwestern 9. Rebecca Rutan Ohio State 10. Kendrick Mooney Northwestern