March 22, 2002


Friday, May 22, 2002 (Madison, New Jersey, Drew University)

Notre Dame’s four-day quest to reclaim the NCAA combined fencing title resumes today, as the women’s field completes competition before the men’s squads do battle at Drew University’s Simon Forum and Athletic Center. Notre Dame – runner-up to Penn State every year from 1996-2000 before finishing third in 2001 – is taking aim at its first national title since 1994 and joined PSU as the only teams to qualify the maximum 12 fencers for the NCAA field (defending champion St. John’s qualified 11, followed by Ohio State with 10).

The 144-fencer field includes 24 men’s and 24 women’s fencers at each of the three weapons (foil, epee and sabre) … fencers will compete against the other 23 competitors in their respective weapons, with teams earning one point for each round-robin victory posted by a fencer from that team … the top four round-robin finishers in each weapon then will fence for the respective individual titles at the end of Friday and Sunday’s competition (those results do not factor into the team scores) … the top 12 finishers in each weapon receive All-America honors.


The women will fence the final nine of their 23 bouts on Friday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Here’s who the Irish will face in second-day action (see end of release for head-to-head history):

Women’s Epee (junior Anna Carnick and sophomore Kerry Walton)

Round 5 – vs. Penn State’s Jessica Burke and Stephanie Eim and Northwestern’s Kate Rudkin

Round 6 – vs. Columbia’s Kim Bush and Monica Conley and Wayne State’s Anna Vinnikov

Round 7 – vs. Air Force’s Elia Burrill, B.C.’s Tiffany White and Harvard’s Tamara Knutsen

Highlight Bouts: vs. PSU’s Burke (’00 NCAA champ) and Eim (3rd in ’01), NU’s Rudkin (4th in ’01, currently 5th) and Columbia’s Conley (currently 11th)

Women’s Foil (freshmen Andrea Ament and Alicja Kryczalo)

Round 5 – vs. Columbia’s Kathryn Cavan and Ellen Blount and Wayne State’s Inga Wallrabenstein

Round 6 – vs. St. John’s Irina Khouade and Elizabeth Thottham and Cal State Fullerton’s Christy Stewart

Round 7 – vs. Penn’s Emmanuelle Humbelt and Lauren Staudinger and Stanford’s Iris Zimmerman

Highlight Bouts: vs. Columbia’s Cavan (8th in ’01, currently 9th), WSU’s Wallrabenstein (5th in ’01, currently 3rd), SJU’s Khouade (currently 3rd) and Thottham (10th in ’01, currently 11th) and Zimmerman (’01 NCAA champ, currently 5th)

Women’s Sabre (senior Carianne McCullough and sophomore Destanie Milo)

Round 5 – vs. St. John’s Christina Crane and Julia Gelman and John’s Hopkins’ Sarah Walsh

Round 6 – vs. Stanford’s Meghan Everett, NYU’s Heidi Tinter and Northwestern’s Lauren Dunn

Round 7 – vs. Penn State’s Heather Brosnan and Stephanie Tam and Rutgers’ Alexis Jemal

Highlight Bouts: vs. SJU’s Gelman (currently 3rd), JHU’s Walsh (11th in ’01, currently 20th), Stanford’s Everettt (currently 6th), NU’s Dunn (currently 5th), RU’s Jemal (5th in ’01, currently 12th) and PSU’s Brosnan (6th in ’01) and Tam (7th in ’01).

SPORTS HOTLINE UPDATES – The Notre Dame sports hotline will provide regular on-site updates from all four days of the NCAAs … to access the hotline, call (574) 631-3000, then select option “9” (for fencing and golf) followeed by option “1” for fencing updates.

“A-TEAM” ON THE ASSAULT – Notre Dame’s freshman foil tandem of Alicja Kryczalo (Gdansk, Poland) and Andrea Ament (Gates Mill, Ohio) won the maximum 27 bouts in Thursday’s first day of action, doing so in dominating fashion as Kryczalo posted a +60 in total-point indicators (she lost just 10 touches) while Ament’s +46 was third-best among all 72 women’s competitors (Yale’s Sada Jacobson, the defending NCAA sabre champion, is +54) … Kryczalo won eight of her bouts by 5-0 counts, including five straight at one point (three of the points she lost came vs. Ament) … the pair combined for a 66-4 regular-season record while ranking as the top women’s foilists in the Midwest.

KRYCZALO ON A BIG-TIME ROLL – Freshman sensation Alicja Kryczalo has won 83 of her 86 collegiate bouts in 2002, including a 59-1 record in her last 60 bouts (since dropping a 5-2 decision to defending NCAA champion Iris Zimmerman of Stanford, at the Feb. 2 Air Force Duals) … she also lost an early-season bout vs. Irina Khoude of St. John’s (5-3, at the NYU Duals) … after posting a 39-2 regular-season record, the six-footer then won all 16 of her bouts at the Midwestern Fencing Conference Championships (six in the team competition, 10 as the individual champ) and went 14-1 en route to the Midwest Regional title (she avenged that loss to Ohio State’s Metta Thompson in yesterday’s action, 5-1) … Kryczalo’s other success since joining the Irish squad includes beating her teammate Andrea Ament to win the Penn State Max Garrett Open (fall of 2001) before claiming the bronze medal at the North American Cup event in Palm Springs, Calif., and nearly winning the NAC event in South Bend (top-ranked U.S. foilist Erinn Smart edged her 15-14 in the title bout).

RECAPPING DAY ONE – Notre Dame won 61 bouts (out of a maximum 81) on to claim the lead, followed by defending champion St. John’s (57), Penn State (53), Ohio State (49) and Yale (37) … freshman foilist Alicja Kryczalo (Gdansk, Poland) – who posted eight 5-0 wins, including five straight – dominated in her 14 bouts, going unbeaten while rolling up a +60 in indicators by yielding just 10 touches in her 14 bouts … three of those touches came vs. her teammate Andrea Ament (Gates Mill, Ohio), who won all of her other 13 bouts to claim a tie for second place with Wayne State’s Inga Wallrabenstein (Ament the edge in indicators, +46 to +36) … sophomore Kerry Walton (Londonderry, N.H.) also had an impressive NCAA debut and will head into her final nine bouts in a three-way tie for second, after going 12-2 (+25). PSU’s Stephanie Eim – the third-place finisher at the 2001 NCAAs – sits atop the epee field at 14-0 (+31) while defending NCAA champ Emese Takacs of SJU (+28) and OSU’s Alexandra Shklar (+23) matched Walton’s 12 wins.

KEY SWEEP – Two of ND’s biggest victories of day one came in the second of four rounds, as sophomore Kerry Walton and junior captain Anna Carnick (Mishawaka, Ind.) both posted one-touch wins over SJU’s Arlene Stevens, the 2001 NCAA runner-up … the Walton-Stevens bout was tied 3-3 after the end of regulation time and Stevens won the coin flip, giving her priority (and the win) if neither fencer scored a touch in the one-minute overtime … but Walton scored the dramatic winning touch with just four seconds left in the bout.

WALTON FAMILY EXCELLENCE – Kerry Walton is virtually assured of earning All-America status (top-12), which would mark the first time in the storied history of the Notre Dame fencing program that a brother and sister each have earned All-America honors for the Irish fencing program … her brother Forest Walton was an All-America foilist at the 2001 NCAAs (10th) and currently is spending the third year of his five-year architecture curriculum studying in Rome … the Waltons already had become just the third Notre Dame brother-sister combination to compete in the NCAAs, joining: two-time All-America epeeist Andy Quaroni (’82-’85, 133-23 record) and foil captain Vittoria Quaroni (’84-’87, 119-43) of San Antonio, Texas, and three-time All-American and NCAA foil champ Heidi Piper (’89-’92, 152-15) and foilist Jeff Piper (’90-’93, 116-18) of Gold Coast, Australia … the Walton family fencing connections also extend to Kerry mother’s Yvonne Walton, who recently won the veteran’s division (over-50) at the North American Cup event in Reno, Nev. … Yvonne earned a spot on the U.S. veterans team that will compete in the upcoming World Championships while Kerry is one of three fencers on the U.S. women’s epee team that will compete in the World Junior Championships (they are the first parent-child combination to fence for the U.S. concurrently in World Championship competition).

McCULLOUGH AIMS FOR FIRST ALL-AMERICA HONOR, CARNICK FOR THIRD – Two veterans members of the Irish fencing team are in position for All-America honors (top 12) … junior epee captain Anna Carnick (Mishawaka, Ind.) stands in eighth place, after placing ninth in 2000 and 12th in 2001 … fifth-year senior captain Carianne McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa.) – who posted a 5-4 win over 2000 NCAA champion Carolina Purcell of M.I.T. – likewise could end her career with All-America honors, with her 8-6 record good for ninth place heading into the final bouts.

FRESHMAN PHENOMS – Notre Dame freshman foilists Alicja Kryczalo and Andrea Ament could have the chance to join Magda Krol (’97 epee) as the only Notre Dame freshman women’s fencers ever to win an NCAA individual title … two previous Notre Dame men’s fencers have been NCAA champs as freshmen: foilist Charles-Higgs Coulthard (’84) and epeeist Jubba Beshin (’90) … ND already has nearly doubled its number of women’s foil wins from the 2001 NCAAs (16, compared to 27 on Thursday alone).

HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS – Here’s a look at how the Notre Dame fencers have done recently vs. today’s opponents (regular-season bouts, unless noted):


vs. Eim, Penn State – Carnick lost 3-5 (’01 NCAAs), 2-3 (’00 NCAAs), 2-3 (’00)

vs. Burke, Penn State – Carnick lost 3-5 (’00 NCAAs)

vs. Rudkin, Northwestern – Walton lost 4-5, won 5-4 (both ’02), Carnick lost 2-5, won 5-3 (’02), lost 1-5, 3-5 (’01), lost 3-5 (’01 NCAAs), won 3-2 (’00 NCAAs) and 5-1 (’00)

vs. Bush, Columbia-Barnard – Walton won 5-4 (’02), Carnick won 5-2 (’02)

vs. Conley, Columbia-Barnard – Walton won 5-1 (’02), Carnick lost 2-5 (’02), 4-5 (’01 NCAAs), 4-5 (’01) and 3-4 (’00), won 5-3 (’00 NCAAs)

vs. Vinnikov, Wayne State – Walton won 5-4 (’02), Carnick won 5-4 (’02)

vs. Burill, Air Forc – Walton won 5-4 (’02), Carnick won 5-1 (’02), won 5-3 and lost 3-5 (’01), won 5-2 (’00 NCAAs)

vs. Knutsen, Harvard – Carnick lost 3-5 (’01 NCAAs)

WOMEN’S FOIL (all ’02 regular season)

vs. Blount, Columbia-Barnard – Kryczalo won 5-1, Ament won 5-1

vs. Cavan, Columbia-Barnard – Kryczalo won 5-2, Ament lost 2-5

vs. Wallrabenstein, Wayne State – Kryczalo won 5-4 (’02), Ament won 5-4 (’02)

vs. Khouade, St. John’s – Kryczalo lost 3-5, Ament lost 3-5

vs. Thottam, St. John’s – Kryczalo won 5-0, Ament won 5-2

vs. Zimmermann, Stanford – Kryczalo lost 3-5


vs. Crane, St. John’s – McCullough lost 3-5 (’02), Milo lost 3-5 (’02)

vs. Gelman, St. John’s – McCullough lost 4-5 (’02), Milo won 5-2 (’02)

vs. Walsh, Johns Hopkins – Milo won 5-4 (’02), lost 1-5 (’01 NCAAs), McCullough won 5-4 (’01 NCAAs), lost 2-5 (’00 NCAAs)

vs. Everett, Stanford – McCullough won 5-2 (’02), 5-3 (’01), lost 0-5 (’01 NCAAs), Milo lost 4-5 (’01), 3-5 (’01 NCAAs)

vs. Tinter, NYU – McCullough lost 3-5 (’02), won 5-4 (’01 NCAAs), 5-1 (’00), Milo won 5-2 (’02), 5-3 (’01 NCAAs), 5-3 (’01)

vs. Dunn, Northwestern – McCullough won 5-3, 5-2 (’02), Milo lost 2-5, 3-5 (’02)

vs. Brosnan, Penn State – McCullough lost 2-5 (’01 NCAAs), Milo lost 0-5 (’01 NCAAs)

vs. Tam, Penn State – McCullough lost 3-5 (’01 NCAAs), 4-5 (’00 NCAAs), 1-5 (’00), Milo lost 3-5 (’01 NCAAs)

vs. Alexis Jemal, Rutgers – McCullough lost 0-5 (’01 NCAAs), Milo lost 1-5 (’01 NCAAs)