Ariel DeSmet

2011 NCAA Champion Ariel DeSmet Finishes Irish Career Tied for Third at NCAA Championships

March 20, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Notre Dame men’s fencing team finished their portion of the 2015 NCAA Championships with 68 points, good for eighth place after day two. Fifth-year senior Ariel DeSmet advanced into the semifinals of the men’s foil weapon class with the No. 4 seed, finishing tied for third after a 15-8 loss to eventual champion Alex Massialas of Stanford.

“Ariel has been a giant for us; both he and Gerek Meinhardt have paced our men’s foil program within the last 10 years,” Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said. “We are so happy for him to have finished his collegiate career this way.”

DeSmet finished the pool play rounds with a 16-7 record, going 6-2 on the day. Notable wins for the Troutdale, Oregon native included beating both Columbia’s Adam Mathiew, 5-0 and Harrison Bergman, 5-2. He finished his career with a 130-30 overall record.

“I’m mostly happy because I did well when it mattered for the team,” DeSmet said. “I’m a little upset that I didn’t finish as well as I had hoped going into the tournament, but generally happy because I think we’re set up well in the team competition.”

DeSmet’s teammates also earned valuable wins for the Irish, with fellow foilist Virgile Collineau (11th) and sabreist Jonah Shainberg (12th) earning third team All-America honors. Collineau finished the day 5-3 (13-10 overall) with notable wins against Bergman (5-4) and Wang (5-2). He nearly upset Massialas in his second-to-last bout of the day, losing 5-4 after being tied at four each.

“Today was a great day for us; we kept the gap from widening too much, and we set our women’s team up nicely as they begin tomorrow,” stated Kvaratskhelia. “We earned some valuable points today with some strong wins, and the girls will come in tomorrow and do their thing.”

In sabre, Shainberg finished with a 13-10 record, beating both Roman Sydorenko and Ferenc Valkai of St. John’s in close, 5-4 bouts. Shainberg also earned the upset over Harvard’s Duncan O’Brien, 5-2. Fellow sabreur Jonathan Fitzgerald came in 20th, with his sole win of the day coming against Brown’s Alejandro Palabrica, 5-2.

“Jonah and Virgile both stood out on our team today; I loved to watch both of them compete and to see Jonah pull out strong wins over two of the top-four finishers,” said Kvaratskhelia. “Virgile was a bright spot also, winning six of his last 10 bouts in the competition. Our freshman class this year has already made progress towards next season with their wins here this year.”

In epee, 2014 NCAA runner-up Garrett McGrath and freshman Nicholas Hanahan made up ground from the day before, finishing 13th and 22nd respectively. McGrath went 6-2 on the day to finish 11-12 overall, while Hanahan finished his first tournament 8-15.

The women’s competition begins tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. ET, with periodic updates posted throughout the day on the team Twitter account.

Team Standings
1. Ohio State – 84 points
2. Columbia – 81 points
3. Penn State – 80 points
4. Pennsylvania – 77 points
5. Princeton – 70 points (ahead by indicator)
6. St. John’s – 70 points
7. Harvard – 68 points (ahead by indicator)
8. Notre Dame – 68 points
9. Duke – 34 points
10. Air Force – 33 points
11. Stanford – 32 points
12. New Jersey Institute of Technology – 26 points
13. Sacred Heart – 22 points
14. Brown – 21 points
15. Wayne State – 17 points
16. NYU – 16 points
17. Stevens Tech – 13 points
18. UC-San Diego – 10 points
19. Yale – 3 points (ahead by indicator)
20. M.I.T. – 3 points