Janusz Bednarski earned his first distinction of NCAA Coach of the Year after guiding the Irish to their eighth fencing championship in 2011.

Day Four At The NCAA Fencing Championship

March 22, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Day four of the NCAA Fencing Championship is coming to a close, with the Irish finishing in second place. Hayley Reese will go for the women’s foil gold after the women’s sabre final, which begins at 2:00 p.m. A complete recap of day four will be posted on und.com, so check back for the full release.

1:45 p.m. – Day 4 In women’s foil, sophomore Hayley Reese upset top-seeded Oksana Dmytruk of Ohio State, 13-11, to advance to the gold medal bout versus Penn State’s Doris Willette. The gold medal bouts will begin at 2:00 p.m., with Reese’s contest to follow the sabre final.

In the women’s epee semifinal bouts, both Courtney Hurley and Ewa Nelip held late leads but neither could advance to the finals as Hurley was beat by PSU’s Ferdman, 15-13, and Nelip was defeated by Harvard’s Noam Mills, 15-13. The epee duo ended tied for third to garner first team All-American honors.

Top-Five Team Standings (Final Point Total)1. Penn State (195)2. Notre Dame (182)3. Ohio State (166)4. Columbia (151)5. Harvard (116)

12:30 p.m. – Day 4 Women’s epee and women’s foil pool play has come to a close meaning the semifinal bouts will follow shortly. In epee, Notre Dame’s Courtney Hurley will face PSU’s Ferdman in one semifinal, while Ewa Nelip will fence Harvard’s Noam Mills in the other epee semifinal. In foil, Notre Dame’s Hayley Reese will face top-seeded Oksana Dmytruk Ohio State in one of the two foil semifinal bouts. 11:30 a.m. – Day 4 Women’s sabre pool play and the semifinals have come to a close. Eileen Hassett had a strong day for the Irish, as she recorded eight wins to move into sixth place and earn second team All-American honors. Sarah Borrmann notched seven wins to move into 13th place, narrowly missing out on All-America status.

In the first women’s sabre semifinal, top-seeded Rebecca Ward (Duke) defeated Daria Schraeder (Columbia), 15-9. In the other semifinal, Caroline Vloka (Harvard) downed Dagmara Wozniak (St. John’s). Ward and Vloka will meet in the gold medal bout at 2:00 p.m.

10:30 a.m. – Day 4 The Irish just earned an important sweep versus Penn State in round five women’s epee action. Courtney Hurley took out PSU’s Nina Westman and Anastasia Ferdman. Hurley’s win over Westman was a 4-3 overtime bout, while her spirited defeat of Ferdman also came in overtime, 5-4. Nelip also beat Ferdman and then disposed of Westman in overtime, 4-3, to complete the sweep.

Women’s sabre rounds five and six are in the books. Eileen Hassett has moved up to eighth with one round to play as the sophomore now has 12 wins. As a team, the Irish have cut Penn State’s lead from 16 to 12.

9:00 a.m. – Day 4 The final day of fencing has begun with the Irish looking to take a firmer grasp on second place (currently Notre Dame leads Ohio State by one point) and close the gap with Penn State, who leads Notre Dame by 16 points.

If Notre Dame were to complete an epic comeback and close the gap with Penn State to 15 points, there would be a split national championship due NCAA rules regarding the withdrawal of Duke’s Dorian Cohen, a men’s foilist who was unable to face all his scheduled opponents (thanks to former UND fencing SID Pete LaFleur for clearing up that situation).

On the individual level, Courtney Hurley (epee), Ewa Nelip (epee), Hayley Reese (foil) and Adi Nott (foil) have positioned themselves for a shot at a top-four finish, which would ensure a place in a semifinal bout. In sabre, Sarah Borrmann and Eileen Hassett will be looking to make a second day charge as all six women’s competitors look to claim All-America honors with a top-12 finish.