February 28, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – One day after winning the Midwest Conference combined team championship, the Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing team competed in the Midwest Conference Individual Championship at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse on Sunday. At the event, the Irish earned four individual Midwest Conference championships. The Irish had top finishers in sabre, men’s epee, women’s foil, women’s epee and a third-place finisher in men’s foil.

The sabre squad, that went undefeated as a team in the regular season, had four fencers finishing in the top seven. Freshman Gabor Szelle won the sabre championship by defeating Cleveland State’s Paolo Roselli 15-8. Sophomore George Viamontes placed fourth in the competition. Sabre captain Luke LaValle finished fifth losing to Roselli in the quarterfinals and senior Steve McQuade earned the number-seven spot.

The Midwest Conference men’s foil championship was decided by Wayne State’s David Huynh’s 15-7 victory over Cleveland State’s Martin Koren. Placing third was Notre Dame’s Stephane Auriol. Auriol was bested by Koren 15-7 in the semifinal bout. Freshman Steve Mautone placed fifth with fellow Irish foilist Charles Hayes placing sixth.

The men’s epee field was dominated by members of the Irish squad. Winning the championship was junior James Gaither. In the final, Gaither defeated his two-time All-American teammate Carl Jackson 15-11. Freshman Irish epeeist Brian Casas took third place when he fell 15-12 to Gaither in the semifinal. Irish junior Dominic Guarnaschelli had a sixth-place showing in the championship event.

The women’s foil final pitted Notre Dame three-time All-American teammates Sara Walsh and Myriah Brown against one another. Walsh was victorious with a 15-6 win in the championship bout. En route to the championship match Brown defeated the 1997 NCAA foil champion, Ohio State’s Yelena Kalkina. Brown won the bout 15-14. Senior captain Nicole Paulina finished 10th and junior Aimee Kalogera placed 14th.

The women’s epee final was a duel between two Notre Dame All-Americans. Senior captain Nicole Mustilli faced teammate and 1997 NCAA epee champion Magda Krol. Mustilli claimed championship victory by a score of 15-8. Christine Efta was the next highest Irish epee finisher at 11th.

The Irish will head to Cleveland, Ohio, to compete in the NCAA Midwest regional qualifier at Cleveland State on March 6.