March 24, 2000

STANFORD, Calif. — The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams slipped to fourth after the second of four days of the 2000 NCAA combined men’s and women’s fencing championship in Stanford, Calif. The end of the women’s competition has Penn State in the lead with 101 points, followed by St. John’s with 78, Princeton with 77 and Notre Dame with 75. The Irish — third after the first day of competition on Thursday — now look to their men’s team in hopes of winning their first NCAA championship since 1994.

Senior Magda Krol finished fifth in women’s foil to become the first Irish women’s fencer to earn All-America honors in two weapons. In her first NCAA foil appearance after three top 10 finishes in epee, Krol went 16-7 to place fifth. She won the NCAA epee crown as a freshman in 1997, before placing sixth in 1998 and eighth in 1999. Irish freshman Liza Boutsikaris placed 12th with a 12-11 record to earn All-America honors as well. Princeton’s Eva Petschnigg won the NCAA women’s foil crown with a 15-13 decision over Stanford’s Claudette de Bruin, who went 23-0 during the round-robin competition.

Notre Dame freshmen Anna Carnick and Meagan Call both earned All-America accolades in women’s epee. Carnick placed ninth with a 14-11 record, while Call went 11-12 to finish 12th. Penn State’s Jessica Burke won the NCAA women’s epee title.

Freshmen Natalia Mazur became the first Irish women’s sabre All-American with her 13-10 record which placed her 10th. Junior Carianne McCullough was 19th with nine wins. The 2000 NCAA championship marks the first for women’s sabre and was won by MIT’s Caroline Purcell.

Notre Dame will points to its youthful men’s squad that includes three freshmen, two sophomores and one junior in hopes of moving the Irish up in the standings. Freshmen Ozren Debic and Forest Walton will lead Notre Dame in men’s foil, while sophomore All-American Brian Casas and freshman Jan Viviani will compete in the men’s epee competition. Junior All-American Andrzej Bednarski returns to the NCAA men’s sabre championship for the first time since finishing 11th as a freshmen in 1998, while sophomore All-American Gabor Szelle begins his quest for the NCAA men’s sabre title after losing in the championship bout a year ago.