March 22, 2007

MADISON, N.J. – The Notre Dame fencing program’s attempt to claim its third NCAA championship in the past five years will begin Thursday, March 22, at the Simon Forum and Athletic Center in Madison, N.J. (hosted by Drew University). The NCAAs once again will adhere to the familiar four-day format, with the men’s bouts slated for Thursday and Friday (March 22-23) while the women will fence on the weekend.

Three contenders – St. John’s, Penn State and Columbia – qualified the maximum 12 fencers (two per weapon) for the 2007 NCAAS while Notre Dame, Ohio State and defending champion Harvard each qualified 11 … the Irish have six men competing today … recent history has shown that an 11-fencer squad can win the NCAA title, with an 11-fencer Notre Dame contingent claiming the 2005 NCAA championship by two points over Ohio State (and 11 points over SJU – the only squad to bring a dozen fencers to the ’05 NCAAs).

THREE WAYS TO FOLLOW THE ACTION – Notre Dame fencing fans will have three ways – text message updates, hotline and PDF results/standings sheets – to follow the daily action from the 2007 NCAA Fencing Championships on an hourly basis, all courtesy of the ND Sports Information Department:

• Irish ALERT free text-message updates are available to your cell phone or other mobile device … updates typically will be sent at the top of each hour and may even be sent separately at that time for each weapon (and/or each fencer), based on the importance and amount of data for each particular update period. Updates will include information on individual results and team standings. To sign up – at this time, you must sign up for men’s and women’s fencing to receive updates for all four days of the NCAAs (may be changed soon to one signup) – see the following link (you also may sign up for text updates on other ND sports):

• The Notre Dame Sports Hotline provides a recap of each game and often will include special in-game updates for postseason action (or for doubleheader days). This hs been a popular option in the past, including moer than 600 calls for fencing updates during the 2006 NCAAs. To access the hotline, call 574-631-3000, choose option 8 and then press “3” for the fencing updates. Similar to the text updates, the Hotline will be updated around the top of the hour througout each day of competition.

• A PDF document link has been created that will be updated throughout the four-day event, with the first page including the most updated team standings, followed by single pages for each Notre Dame fencer that will include their individual results as they are completed. The link is included below and currently includes the text of this release but will change over to the 12-page results/standings format later on March 22:

THE SCHEDULE (at Drew University, in the Simon Forum and Athletic Center)
Thursday, March 22
10:00 a.m. – Men’s Weapons, Rounds 1-4

Friday, March 23
9:30 a.m. – Men’s Weapons, Rounds 5-7 (end of men’s team competition), followed by the six semifinal bouts
2:30 p.m. – Men’s Individual Weapon Finals, in the order of sabre, foil and epee

Saturday, March 24
10:00 a.m. – Women’s Weapons, Rounds 1-4

Sunday, March 25
9:30 a.m. – Women’s Weapons, Rounds 5-7 (end of women’s team competition), followed by the six semifinal bouts
2:00 p.m. – Women’s Individual Weapon Finals, in the order of sabre, foil and epee

THURSDAY’S NCAA FENCING SCHEDULE (DAY 1) – The men will fence the first 14 (rounds 1-4) of their 23 round-robin bouts on Thursday, beginning at 10:00 a.m.. Here’s who the Irish will face in first-day action, along with their head-to-head history:

MEN’S EPEE (jr. Greg Howard and soph. Karol Kostka, paired with Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Wieder)
Round 1 – vs. teammate and Penn’s Wieder, plus Yale’s John Beski and Michael Pearce and Brandeis’ Kai Moritz-Keller
Round 2 – vs. Ohio State’s duo of Jason Pryor and Mykhaylo Mazur and Cal State Fullerton’s Jacob Jennings
Round 3 – vs. Wayne State’s pair of Marek Petraszek and Slava Zingerman and Air Force’s Peter French
Round 4 – vs. the Rutgers duo of Jason Henderson and Adrian Pacia and Princeton’s Tommi Hurme

Highlight Bouts: vs. Yale’s Michael Pearce (5th at the 2006 NCAAs), OSU’s Jason Pryor and Mykhaylo Mazur (both NCAA newcomers), WSU’s Marek Petraszek (13th in ’06, 2nd in ’05, 7th in ’04) and freshman standout Slava Zingerman, and Jason Henderson (12th in ’06, 15th in ’05, 8th in ’04) from Rutgers

Series Head-to-Head Notes for Howard and Kostka vs. Thursday’s Epee Opponents (18-25):
Yale (2-4) – Kostka is 0-1 against Beski and 1-0 against Pearce (a 5-2 win at the ’06 NCAAs), while Howard is 0-2 against Beski but owns a 1-1 split vs. Pearce.
Ohio State (6-7) – Kostka and Howard are even against Pryor (2-2 for Kostka, 3-3 for Howard), while Howard has one victory over Mazur with Kostka having lost twice to Mazur.
Cal State Fullerton (1-1) – at the 2005 ND Duals, Kostka defeated Jennings (5-3) while Jennings topped Howard (5-1)
Wayne State (8-10) – Kostka is 3-2 against fellow Poland native Petraszek, having defeated Petraszek at the ’07 Regional (5-3), ’06 NCAAs (5-1) and ’06 ND Duals (5-3) while one of Petraszek’s victories was a 14-13 win in the ’06 Regional semifinal … Kostka owns a 2-2 mark against Zingerman, but he has won the past two bouts – both 15-touch matchups at the ’07 Regional (15-13 during the early tournament bouts and 15-14 in the quarterfinals) – while Zingerman downed Kostka (15-10) in the MFC individual semifinals … Howard also has split (1-1) against Zingerman and is 2-5 overall against Petraszek.
Air Force (0-2) – Peter French topped the ND pair during their lone meetings at this year’s Duke Duals (5-2 over Howard, 5-1 over Kostka).
Rutgers (0-1) – Jason Henderson topped Kostka (5-2) at the ’06 NCAAs, in the only meeting between any of the Rutgers fencers and the ND pair.
Princeton (1-0) – Kostka beaet Tommi Hurme (5-1) at the 2006 NCAAs.
Note: Kostka and Howard have not faced Penn’s Wieder, Brandeis’ Moritz-Keller or Rutgers’ Pacia … Kostka has defeated Howard in their two meetings – both 15-14 decisions in the 3rd-place bouts at the past two Regionals.

MEN’S FOIL (jr. Jakub Jedrkowiak and soph. Mark Kubik, paired with Yale’s John Gurrieri)
Round 1 – vs. teammate and Yale’s Gurrieri, plus Penn State’s Jeff Chang and Nick Chinman and UC-San Diego’s Cameron Sprowles
Round 2 – vs. Stanford’s Phill Arredondo and Richard Fulton and Air Force’s Nathaniel Smith
Round 3 – vs. the Pennsylvania pair of Michael Galligan and Ronald Berkowsky and Princeton’s Alejandro Bras
Round 4 – vs. the Duke duo of Benjamin Hendricks and Eliot Cohen and Johns Hopkins’ David Ferguson

Highlight Bouts: vs. PSU’s Jeff Chang (19th in ’06, 11th in ’05) and Nicholas Chinman (Mid-Atlantic/South Regional Champion), the Penn pair of Ronald Berkowsky (4th in ’06, 3rd in ’05) and Michael Galligan (9th in ’06, ’05, and ’04)

Series Head-to-Head Notes for Jedrkowiak and Kubik vs. Thursday’s Foil Opponents (22-21):
Air Force (0-4) – Nathaniel Smith has won all four of his previous bouts vs. the ND entrants, with two wins at this year’s Duke Duals (5-3 over Kubik, 5-2 over Jedrkowiak) and a pair of victories at the 2006 UC-San Diego Duals.
Duke (1-3) – Cohen is 1-1 against the ND fencers (lost to Jedrkowiak, defeated Kubik) while Hendricks owns one victory over each ND foilist.
Johns Hopkins (1-1) – Kubik has the victory over Ferguson, a 5-1 win at the Northwestern Duals in the fall of ’05.
Pennsylvania (1-5) – Jedrkowiak is 1-1 against Galligan, while Kubik is 0-1 against the Penn senior … Berkowsky is undefeated against Jedrkowiak (2-0) and Kubik (1-0).
Penn State (5-3) – Jedrkowiak is 2-2 against Chang, with a 15-13 win at the ’06 PSU Open Final and a 5-0 victory at the ’06 NCAAs … Kubik also owns a split (1-1) against the NCAA veteran … both Jedrkowiak and Kubik defeated Chinman earlier this year.
Princeton (1-0) – Jedrkowiak defeated Bras (5-3) at the ’05 NCAAs.
Stanford (7-4) – Both Kubik and Jedrkowiak are 1-0 against Arredondo … Kubik has a 3-1 mark against Fulton, with Jedrkowiak at 1-3.
UC-San Diego (4-1) – Jedrkowiak is 3-0 against Sprowles while Kubik’s record is 1-1.
Yale (2-0) – Kubik and Jedrkowiak each scored a victory over their ’07 NCAA traveling partner at the 2007 NYU Duals.
Note: Jedrkowiak has beaten Kubik twice in their only meetings, a 5-0 win at the 2006 NCAAs and a 15-9 victory in the 2007 Midwest Regional semifinals.

MEN’S SABRE (sr. Patrick Ghattas and soph. Bill Thanhouser, paired with Detroit’s Jaroslaw Jelinek)
Round 1 – vs. teammate and Detroit’s Jelinek, plus Columbia’s Alexander Krul and James Williams and Boston College’s Malcolm Conley
Round 2 – vs. Harvard’s Timothy Hagamen and Dan Sachs and Princeton’s Thomas Abend
Round 3 – vs. NYU’s pair of Jared Hammond and Sam Roukas and Brown’s Dan Mahoney
Round 4 – vs. Pennsylvania duo of Andrew Bielen and Matt Kolasa and North Carolina’s Robert Ziechmann

Highlight Bouts: vs. Columbia’s duo of Alexander Krul (6th at 2004 NCAAs) and James Williams (5th at 2006 NCAAs), Harvard’s pair of Timothy Hagamen (4th in ’06, 3rd in ’05) and Dan Sachs, and Detroit’s Jaroslaw Jelinek (16th in ’06, 11th in ’05).

Series Head-to-Head Notes for Ghattas and Thanhouser vs. Thursday’s Sabre Opponents (26-10):
Detroit (10-2) – Ghattas owns a sparkling 9-0 mark against Jelinek, while Thanhouser is 1-2 against the Detroit senior.
Columbia (9-6) – Ghattas is 4-1 against Williams, having won each of their meetings at the past four NYU Duals (although Williams owns a 5-2 victory at last year’s NCAAs) … Ghattas also is 3-3 against Krul, including a 1-1 mark in their two NCAA meetings … Thanhouser is 1-1 against both of the Columbia fencers.
Harvard (1-1) – Ghattas has fenced Hagamen twice, winning at the ’05 NCAAs (5-3) but losing in ’06 (5-4).
NYU (3-0) – Ghattas owns a victory over both from the NYU pair of Hammond and Roukas, with Thanhouser chipping in one win over Hammond.
Pennsylvania (1-0) – Ghattas has defeated Kolasa in their only meeting.
North Carolina (2-1) – Thanhouser has a split against Ziechman, with Ghattas contributing one victory over the UNC sophomore.
Note: The ND sabre duo never has fenced BC’s Conley, Harvard’s Sachs, Princeton’s Abend, Brown’s Mahoney or Penn’s Bielen … Thanhouser and Ghattas have not faced each other in NCAA competition (or in other postseason bouts, i.e. the MFCs or Regional).