March 3, 2007
Three Notre Dame fencers claimed first place in their respective weapons during Saturday’s individual portion of the Midwest Conference Championships. The action will conclude at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse with Sunday’s team competition, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and running into the late afternoon.
A pair of veteran All-Americans – junior Jakub Jedrkowiak and sophomore Adi Nott – took first in men’s foil and women’s foil, respectively, while freshman epeeist Kelley Hurley continued an impressive rookie season by placing first in her debut at the MFCs.
Senior Valerie Providenza was the runner-up in women’s sabre while three Irish fencers on the men’s side – Karol Kostka (epee), Mark Kubik (foil) and Matt Stearns (sabre) – all reached the semifinal round. Senior Patrick Ghattas would have been among the favorites to win the men’s sabre title, but the three-time All-American currently is competing at a World Cup event in Bulgaria.
Saturday’s three-gold-medal performance marked Notre Dame’s best showing at an MFC tournament with a full contingent of top opponents since 2002, when the Irish won four of the six individual events. Notre Dame swept all six events in 2005, after Ohio State unexpectedly withdrew following the team competition (which had been held on the first day prior to 2006).
The 3rd-seeded Jedrkowiak went 4-0 in his opening pool bouts but slipped to the 10th seed for the direct-elimination, due to a logjam of undefeated fencers having better total-point indicators. Jedrkowiak responded to the tougher drawing by edging 2006 NCAA runner-up Andras Horanyi of Ohio State, in a 15-14 quarterfinal. Trailing 11-6, Jedrkowiak reeled off seven of the next eight touches to pull ahead (13-12) and later scored the final two to advance to the semifinals. The Poland native then topped OSU’s Will Jeter (15-13) in the before earning first place with a 15-4 win over another Buckeye, upstart Joe Streb.
Nott kept her top seed with a 6-0 showing during the pool round and then bested teammate Rachel Cota (round-of-16) and OSU’s Holly McKibben (quarterfinals) by identical 15-2 scores. The lefthander then raced out to a 7-2 semifinal lead against Northwestern’s Jessica Florendo en route to a 15-10 victory that earned her a spot in the final versus Florendo’s teammate and fellow All-American Samantha Nemecek. Nott scored all five touches during the middle portion of the title bout, plus the first touch of the final third, to turn a tight early contest into a 10-3 lead and an eventual 15-6 victory.
Hurley’s triumph in the women’s epee final gave her the distinction of becoming just the seventh Notre Dame women’s fencer to win an individual conference title as a freshman – with the others being former foilists Pia Albertson (’84), Molly Sullivan (’85), Maria Panyi (’94) and Alicja Kryczalo (’02), plus epeeist Anna Carnick (’02) and current junior foilist Emilie Prot (’06).
Hurley maintained her own top seed, following an undefeated mark in her pool bouts. The freshman’s difficult road to the title included 15-11 wins in her final three bouts – over highly-regarded Northwestern newcomer Kayley French (in the quarterfinals), two-time NCAA champion Anna Garina of Wayne State in the semifinals and OSU’s Alexandra Obrazcova in the final.
Ohio State All-American Siobhan Byrne scored on three successive attacks to defeat Providenza (15-13) in a rematch of the 2006 MFC women’s sabre title bout (won by Byrne, 15-12). Providenza emerged from the pool round as the sixth seed but marched to the final after defeating Northwestern’s Mai Van Vu (15-11, round-of-16) and then topping a pair of All-Americans: Wayne State’s Katarzyna Kuzniak (15-6, quarterfinals) and OSU’s Eileen Grench (15-13, semifinal).
OSU’s Mike Momstelidze narrowly topped his teammate Sergey Smirnov (15-14) in the men’s sabre final, while Slava Zingerman downed two-time All-American Marek Petraszek (15-12) in the all-Wayne State men’s epee final.
Here are additional notes for each weapon, along with the full lists of top-12 finishes and complete scores from the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals:
MEN’S EPEE – Irish fencers comprised half of the top three, with Kostka’s bronze-medal performance being joined by junior captain Greg Howard (5th) and senior Patrick Gettings (6th) … Kostka fell to eventual champ Zingerman (10-15) in the semifinals after topping Gettings (15-10) in the quarters … Notre Dame earned the top two seeds following pool play, with Howard claiming first and Gettings taking the second seed … Howard dropped a 15-9 decision to OSU’s Jason Pryor in the round-of-8.
Top 12 – 1. Slava Zingerman (Wayne State); 2. Marek Petraszek (Wayne State); 3. Karol Kostka (Notre Dame) and Jason Pryor (Ohio State); 5. Greg Howard (Notre Dame); 6. Patrick Gettings (Notre Dame); 7. Christian Rivera (Ohio State); 8. Noam Gill (Ohio State); 9. Mykhaylo Mazur (Ohio State); 10. Alexander Delaney (Ohio State); 11. Andy Snell (Cleveland State); 12. Sean Harder (Ohio State).
Quarterfinals – Pryor def. Howard (15-9) … Petraszek def. Rivera (15-8) … Zingerman def. Gill (15-11) … Kostka def. Gettings (15-10).
Semifinals – Petraszek def. Pryor (15-13) … Zingerman def. Kostka (15-10).
Final – Zingerman def. Petraszek (15-12).
MEN’S FOIL – Jedrkowiak took first by landing the final nine touches in his 15-4 title bout against Streb … Jedrkowiak and Kubik were the only non-Ohio State fencers to finish in the top-seven spots … Kubik defeated OSU’s Kevin Stuart (15-10) in the quarterfinals but was upset by Stuart’s teammate Joe Streb in a 15-12 semifinal.
Top 12 – 1. Jakub Jedrkowiak (Notre Dame); 2. Joe Streb (Ohio State); 3. William Jeter (Ohio State) and Mark Kubik (Notre Dame); 5. Dimitri Kirk-Gordon (Ohio State); 6. Andras Horanyi (Ohio State); 7. Kevin Stuart (Ohio State); 8. Liran Gross (Cleveland State); 9. Craig Budzynski (Detroit); 10. Frank Bontempo (Notre Dame) and Kyle Roat (Ohio State); 12. Willy Chang (Michigan).
Quarterfinals – Streb def. Kirk-Gordon (15-10) … Kubik def. Stuart (15-10) … Jeter def. Gross (10-9) … Jedrkowiak def. Horanyi (15-14).
Semifinals – Streb def. Kubik (15-12) … Jedrkowiak def. Jeter (15-13).
Final – Jedrkowiak def. Streb (15-4).
MEN’S SABRE – Stearns and Momstelidze tied for the second seed following pool play, but the Ohio State sophomore came out on top in a 15-11 semifinal between the two NCAA All-Americans … sophomore Bill Thanhouser likewise lost to a Buckeye sabreist, as senior and former All-American Jason Paul won their quarterfinal matchup (15-12).
Top 12 – 1. Mike Momstelidze (Ohio State). 2. Sergey Smirnov (Ohio State); 3. Jason Paul (Ohio State) and Matt Stearns (Notre Dame); 5. Bill Thanhouser (Notre Dame) and Dexter Wilde (Ohio State); 7. Jaroslaw Jelinek (Detroit); 8. Brian Jao (Case Western Reserve); 9. William Claybaugh (Chicago); 10. Ryan Bradley (Notre Dame); 11. Keith Lewis (Case Western Reserve); 12. Hasani Burton (Indiana).
Quarterfinals – Smirnov def. Jelinek (15-9) … Paul def. Thanhouser (15-12) … Momstelidze def. Wilde (15-7) … Stearns def. Jao (15-5).
Semifinals – Smirnov def. Paul (15-5) … Momstelidze def. Stearns (15-11).
Final – Momstelidze def. Smirnov (15-14).
WOMEN’S EPEE – The quarterfinals produced a rematch of the 2005 NCAA epee championship, as Wayne State’s Anna Garina posted a 15-4 victory over Irish senior Amy Orlando … Notre Dame’s Eleanor Leighton entered the day as the 14th seed but jumped to second following a 4-1 mark in pool bouts … Leighton then was upset by Michigan State’s Erin MacCourtney (12-15) in the quarterfinals.
Top 12 – 1. Kelley Hurley (Notre Dame); 2. Alexandra Obrazcova (Ohio State); 3. Anna Garina (Wayne State) and Christa French (Northwestern); 5. Kayley French (Northwestern); 6. Justyna Konczalska (Wayne State); 7. Amy Orlando (Notre Dame); 8. Erin MacCourtney (Michigan State); 9. Joanna Niklinska (Northwestern); 10. Sara Pecherek (Northwestern); 11. Elyse Gurnowski (Ohio State); 12. Aisling Holt (Chicago).
Quarterfinals – Hurley def. Kayley French (15-11) … Garina def. Orlando (15-4) … Christa French def. Konczalska (15-11) … Obrazcova def. MacCourtney (15-6).
Semifinals – Hurley def. Garina (15-11) … Obrazcova def. Christa French (15-12).
Final – Hurley def. Obrazcova (15-11).
WOMEN’S FOIL – Sophomore foilist Emilie Prot was the lone defending MFC champion for Notre Dame but she faced a difficult draw in the round-of-16 against Northwestern senior Jessica Florendo … Prot had defeated the two-time All-American in a wild 15-14 semifinal during the 2006 MFCs, but Florendo avenged the loss on Saturday, scoring a big comeback by nailing the final seven touches to win 15-14 after Prot had opened a 14-8 lead.
Top 12 – 1. Adrienne Nott (Notre Dame); 2. Samantha Nemecek (Northwestern); 3. Natalie Wang (Northwestern) and Jessica Florendo (Northwestern); 5. Lindsey Howard (Wayne State) and Julia Tikhonova (Ohio State); 7. Holly McKibben (Ohio State); 8. Meredith Baskies (Northwestern); 9. Melanie Bautista (Notre Dame); 10. Leigh Pendergrass (Cleveland State); 11. Colleen Walsh (Notre Dame); 12. Emilie Prot (Notre Dame).
Quarterfinals – Nott def. McKibben (15-2) … Florendo def. Howard (15-6) … Nemecek def. Tikhonova (15-4) … Wang def. Baskies (15-10).
Semifinals – Nott def. Florendo (15-10) … Nemecek def. Wang (15-9).
Final – Nott def. Nemecek (15-6)
WOMEN’S SABRE – Providenza rallied from an 11-13 deficit to defeat Grench 15-13 in a closely-contested semifinal matchup … the Providenza-Byrne meeting was a reprise of the 2005 NCAA third-place match, which Byrne won 15-11 .. the two earlier split their meetings during the 2006-07 regular season, with Providenza winning 5-2 at the Notre Dame Duals and Byrne taking a 5-3 decision one week later at the NYU Duals.
Top 12 – 1. Siobhan Byrne (Ohio State); 2. Valerie Providenza (Notre Dame); 3. Syvenna Siebert (Ohio State) and Eileen Grench (Ohio State); 5. Katarzyna Kuzniak (Wayne State); 6. Sophie Eustis (Northwestern); 7. Ashley Serrette (Notre Dame); 8. Mary Koser (Indiana); 9. Sarah Hanchar (Michigan); 10. Mai Van Vu (Northwestern); 11. Ann Bartoszewicz (Wayne State); 12. Whitney White (Northwestern).
Quarterfinals – Byrne def. Koser (15-0) … Siebert def. Eustis (15-10) … Providenza def. Kuzniak (15-6) … Grench def. Serrette (15-8).
Semifinals – Byrne def. Siebert (15-8) … Providenza def. Grench (15-13).
Final – Byrne def. Providenza (15-13).