NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The reigning two-time national champion Notre Dame fencing team will return to the site of its most recent triumph Saturday, traveling to Penn State to open the 2018-19 campaign at the Garret Open.
The two-day event will take place at Penn State’s White Building and begin at 8:30 each day.
The majority of the Irish roster will look to compete as Notre Dame opens its collegiate season, while a handful will compete at a pair of International Fencing Federation (FIE) World Cup events.
2018 Garret Open
This weekend’s Garret Open will be the 46th installment of the annual event, with Irish fencers returning for the first time since 2016. Unlike most regular-season competitions where teams compete in dual matches, the Garret Open is an individually contested tournament. The last time Irish fencers appeared at the event, current senior Amanda Sirico snagged gold in women’s epee, as did Lee Kiefer (’17) in women’s foil. In men’s foil, current senior Axel Kiefer topped the podium, while junior men’s epeeist Zachary Zeller claimed bronze.
Seven Irish fencers will take the strip overseas at FIE World Cup events. Freshmen Kara Linder (women’s sabre) and Karl-Friedrich Flick and Alessandro Contreras (men’s sabre) will compete in Sochi, Russia, while sophomore Nick Itkin and freshman Andrew Machovec (men’s foil) and sophomore Stefani Deschner and freshman Amita Berthier (women’s foil) will compete in London.
The Irish last competed in University Park, Pennsylvania, at the 2018 National Collegiate Fencing Championships, held at Penn State’s Multi-Sport Facility. The Irish were dominant during the four-day stretch, leading at the end of each day and amassing 185 points en route to their second straight national title — and tenth overall. Ten of Notre Dame’s 12 participants earned All-America Honors, eight of which were of the first-team variety. Seniors Francesca Russo (third, women’s sabre), Nicholas Hanahan (fifth, men’s epee) and Jonah Shainberg (fifth, men’s sabre) ended their careers on a high note, while the 2018-19 roster welcomes back seven incumbent All-Americans: men’s foil national champion and sophomore Nick Itkin, senior Axel Kiefer (third, men’s foil), junior Ariel Simmons (third, men’s epee) and seniors Sabrina Massialas (second, women’s foil), Elyssa Kleiner (third, women’s foil), Amanda Sirico (third, women’s epee) and Tara Hassett (seventh, women’s sabre).