March 9, 2002
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams likely secured 11 entrants in the NCAA Championship and could add the maximum 12th entrant later this week, after Saturday’s dominating performace by the Irish at the Midwest Regional Championship, held at Case Western Reserve.
Bids to the NCAAs are based on seeding prior to the regionals (40%) and regional finish (60%). Based on the combination of its high seeds and high Regional showings, Notre Dame is expected to receive at least 11 of the maximum 12 NCAA spots (two per weapon), with the NCAA field to be announced on March 14.
Junior sabreman Matt Fabricant matched his seed with a fifth-place Regional finish, with the Midwest automatically qualifying four fencers in each of the men’s weapons and women’s sabre (plus five each in women’s epee and foil). Even if Fabricant does not receive one of the Midwest’s four sabre spots, he still could qualify for the NCAAs as one of the nation’s two at-large competitors in the 24-fencer sabre field.
Men’s epeeist Michal Sobieraj returned in fine fashion from a foot injury that had sidelined him for a month, with the freshman matching his top seed by going 15-1 in the Regional bouts while Irish epee captain Jan Viviani also matched his seed as the runner-up.
Men’s foil captain Ozren Debic (first) also matched his seed by winning all 15 of his Regional bouts while Irish freshman Derek Snyder returned from illness to finish third (he was the No. 2 seed). Sabre captain and second-seeded Andre Crompton placed fourth at the Regional.
On the women’s side, Kerry Walton placed third in epee while captain Anna Carnick was fourth (both finished one spot below their seeds). Foilist Alicja Kryczalo matched her seed by besting Ohio State’s Hannah Thompson in a fence-off title bout (5-3). Fellow Irish freshman foilist and second-seeded Andrea Ament finished third while sabres Destanie Milo (second) and Carianne McCullough (third) both matched their Regional seedings.
* Men’s Epee – Viviani won 14 of his 17 bouts, including 9-2 in the round-robin (Sobieraj was 10-1) … Ohio State’s Brian Groes was 3rd and ND senior two-time All-American Brian Casas closed his career with a 6th-place finish … Viviani has been the Regional runner-up three years running while Casas had finished 2nd, 3rd and 1st in his three previous Regionals.
* Women’s Epee – OSU’s Alexandra Shklar matched her seed by winning the Regional title (10-1) while 5th-seeded Kate Rudkin of Northwestern(9-2, +20) edged Walton (9-2, +13) for 2nd, based on total-point indicators (Walton went 4-0 in pool play, 13-2 overall) … Carnick – who was 5th in the previous two Regionals – won 10 of her 16 bouts (7-4 in the round robin) to finish 4th … ND junior two-time All-American Meagan Call (the 8th seed) ended her season with a 6th-place finish (she was 4th in the previous two Regionals).
* Men’s Foil – Debic secured his third consecutive Regional title while OSU’s Nathan Weir (the 6th seed) made his case for an NCAA bid by finishing 2nd … Snyder won all four of his bouts in the preliminary pools before going 8-3 in the round-robin … ND senior Steve Mautone closed with a strong 4th-place finish (7-4), after placing 6th, 4th and 2nd in the previous three Regionals.
* Womens’s Foil – Kryczalo (5-0 in the pools) and OSU’s Hannah Thompson (the 4th seed) set up their fence-off with 10-1 records in the round-robin … Ament went 9-2 for her 3rd-place finish (5-0 in the pools) … ND junior All-American Liza Boutsikaris placed 8th (she was 2nd and 4th in the previous two Regionals).
* Men’s Sabre – OSU Jason Rogers (10-1) matched his seed as the Regional champion while Wayne State’s Jakub Krochmalski (the 4th seed) edged OSU’s Colin Parker (the 3rd seed) for runner-up, based on indicators (both were 9-2) … Crompton (8-3, +23) – who was 5th, 4th and 2nd at the previous three Regionals – claimed the 4th spot over Fabricant (+16), based on indicators(Fabricant also was 5th in 2001) … ND fifth-year Andrzej Bednarski likely wil not get his shot at a fourth All-America honor, after finishing 6th as the 7th seed (he finished 3rd in the previous two Regionals).
* Women’s Sabre – Top seed Louise Bond-Williams claimed the title, with Milo (+21) eding McCullough (+15) for second based on indicators … sophomore Maggie Jordan capped her first college season at sabre by placing 6th (she was the 8th seed). * ND’s third fencers at each weapon still could fence in the NCAAs if one of their teammates is unable to compete due to injury (based on the final Regional rankings).