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Fencing Slips Back To Third At NCAAs, With Final Rounds Set For Sunday

March 24, 2001

KENOSHA, Wis. – Notre Dame slipped behind Penn State into third place at the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Combined Fencing Championship, following Saturday’s opening rounds of the women’s competition at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Petretti Fieldhouse. The four-day tournament is set to conclude on Sunday, with three more rounds of competition in each women’s weapon.

St. John’s continues to lead the team competition with 147 points while five-time defending champion Penn State (139) has edged in front of Notre Dame (131), followed by Stanford (114) in fourth place. The Irish still could catch the Nittany Lions, as Notre Dame will go head-to-head with PSU in six of its 27 bouts on Sunday (teams receive one point for each bout won).

Sophomore epeeists Anna Carnick (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Meagan Call (Eugene, Ore.) posted Notre Dame’s most wins of the day and are in good position to repeat as All-Americans (awarded to the top 12 finishers in each weapon), with Call winning 10 of her 14 bouts while Carnick won eight in the afternoon action. Call is tied for second (fourth based on total-point indicators) and can advance to the semifinals by maintaining that position on Sunday.

Notre Dame’s sabre and foil fencers faced some tough competition in Saturday’s morning rounds, with senior sabre captain Carianne McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa.) having the best chance at earning All-America honors after winning seven bouts (good for 12th place). Freshman sabre Destanie Milo (Knox, Ind.) stands 15th in the 24-fencer field while sophomore foil captain Liza Boutsikaris (Sparta, N.J.) will need to make up some ground on Sunday to repeat her 2000 All-America finish. Freshman foil Maggie Jordan (Maplewood, N.J.) is 18th following Saturday’s four rounds.

Carnick’s top win came 5-1 versus Ohio State’s Alexandra Shklar but she suffered a tough 5-0 loss to Princeton’s Maya Lawrence (who was defeated by Call, 5-3). Defending NCAA runner-up Stephanie Eim of Penn State posted wins over Carnick (5-3) and Call (5-1), as did Columbia’s Monica Conley (both by 5-4 scores).

McCullough won half of her 14 bouts, with her top wins coming versus Midwest rival Carley Wells of Northwestern and defending NCAA runner-up Kim Treiber of North Carolina (both 5-4), plus a 5-2 win over Ohio State’s Sara Bowen.

Milo also opened with an impressive win over Wells (5-4) before losing tough 5-3 decisions to Treiber of North Carolina and Bowen of Ohio State, en route to a 6-8 record.

Boutsikaris and Jordan both managed just four wins versus the daunting women’s foil field, which includes nine returning All-Americans from the 2000 NCAAs.

Boutsikaris did score a strong victory over Harvard’s Emily Katz (5-1) before losing her final five bouts to a group of talented fencers, including Ohio State’s Fane Groes (5-1) and Penn State’s Charlotta Walker (5-1), the 2000 NCAA runner-up.

Jordan also lost to Walker (5-1) and Groes (5-2) but pulled off a noteworthy victory versus rival St. John’s, defeated Elizabeth Thottam by a score of 5-3.

Sabre standings

1. Jacobson (Yale)-14-0

2. Purcell (MIT)-13-1

3. Bronsan (Penn State)-11-3

4. Mustilli (St. Johns)-10-4

12. McCullough (Notre Dame)-7-7

15. Milo (Notre Dame)-6-8

Foil standings

1. Zimmerman (Stanford)-14-0

2. Walrabstein (Wayne State)-11-3

3. Breden (Stanford)-11-3

4. Rostal (Princeton)-10-4

17. Boutsikaris (Notre Dame)-4-10

18. Jordan (Notre Dame)-4-10

Epee standings

1. Eim (Penn State)-14-0

2. Rudkin (Northwestern)-10-4

3. Takacs (St. John’s)-10-4

4. Call (ND)-10-4

9. Carnick (ND)-8-6