March 5, 1999

Irish Preview: The Notre Dame second-ranked men’s and fourth-ranked women’s team will head to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the Midwest NCAA Regional Qualifier at Cleveland State. This competition marks one of deciding factors in determining which fencers will qualify for the NCAA championships. The Irish intend to continue the same success they have had in 1997 and 1998 qualifying the maximum 10 fencers to compete at the NCAA championships.

Irish Review: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s team claimed their eighth consecutive Midwest Conference (formerly regional) combined team championship. The Irish took first place in sabre, men’s foil, men’s epee, and women’s foil, while earning a third place showing in women’s epee. Highlighting the Irish domination of the field were individual performances by All-Americans Sara Walsh (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Carl Jackson (Ringoes, N.J.). Both fencers went undefeated, Walsh 17-0 and Jackson 13-0. In Notre Dame’s closest championship match of the day senior foilist Gina Couri (East Peoria, Ill.) defeated Ohio State’s Lyn El-Hillow 5-2 to give the Irish a 9-7 victory. In the first Midwestern Fencing Conference’s individual championships Notre Dame fencers claimed four championships. Freshman Gabor Szelle (Budapest, Hungary) won the sabre division, junior James Gaither (Piedmont, Calif.) gained championship honors in epee and the top finisher for the Irish in men’s foil was Stephane Auriol (Elkhart, Ind.) who placed third. For the women Walsh placed first in women’s foil and All-American Nicole Mustilli (South Orange, N.J.) won the women’s epee championship.

Head Coach Yves Auriol: Yves Auriol is in his fourth season as head coach of both the men’s and women’s team. Auriol has achieved great success in his first three seasons guiding the Irish to three second-place finishes at the NCAA championships. Coming into the 1999 season Auriol had a career record of 376-20 (.949). Auriol notched his 400th career-coaching win on February 5, when the Irish men defeated Rutgers 20-7 at the Duke Invitational. With the women notching a 21-11 win against Penn on January 23, at the Penn State Meet, Auriol gained his 300th women’s coaching victory. The coach earned his 100th career men’s coaching victory on February 20, as his squad defeated Northwestern 21-6 in the last match of the regular season. Returning eight of 10 1998 NCAA championship competitors and seven of the eight 1998 Irish-All-Americans Auriol is looking forward to another successful season.

Irish In the Midwest Regionals: In recent years the Irish have had championship success at the Midwest regional qualifier. Senior All-American Luke LaValle (New York, N.Y.) is the three-time defending champion in sabre. All-American women’s epeeist Magda Krol (Vancouver, British Columbia) is the two-time defending champion in her weapon. Stephane Auriol, a senior captain, is this year’s returning champion in men’s foil. Auriol was the runner-up for men’s foil in 1997. Walsh adds to the Irish Midwest regional championships with her first place showing in 1996. Walsh has placed second the past two years at the competition. All-American foilist Myriah Brown (Mishawaka, Ind.) finished second in 1996, fourth in 1997 and sixth in 1998. Jackson, a senior epeeist, earned second place in 1997 and 1995 and third place in 1998. Mustilli, the senior women’s epee captain, placed second in 1998 and third in 1997.

National Rankings


1.   Penn State2.   Notre Dame3.   StanfordT4.  ColumbiaT4.  Princeton6.   Pennsylvania7.   St. John's8.   YaleT9.  DukeT9.  NYU


 1.  Penn State T2. Stanford T2. Columbia 4.  Notre Dame 5.  Princeton 6.  Yale 7.  Ohio State 8.  Northwestern 9.  Temple10.  Pennsylvania