March 13, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. – Sophomore fencer Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and junior fencer Eileen Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.) turned in gold medal performances at the NCAA Midwest Regional on Saturday afternoon inside the Sports and Aquatic Center on the campus of Northwestern University. Both fencers earned automatic qualification into the 2010 NCAA Championship field by virtue of finishing first overall in their respective weapons. All told, the Irish women won four medals on the day as Sarah Borrmann (Beaverton, Ore.) earned a silver in sabre and Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky.) took home the foil bronze.
C. Hurley was seeded first overall in the double elimination direct elimination portion of the event. After a first round bye, she ran into Irish teammate and sister Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), who earned a 15-9 win, sending Courtney to the repechage. C. Hurley then knocked-off Ohio State’s Elyse Gurnowski, 15-6, to earn a place in the quarterfinals, where she beat OSU’s Mary Pozydaev, 15-4. In the semifinals, C. Hurley downed Christa French of host Northwestern, 15-12, for a place in the championship bout. C. Hurley then edged Kayley French, 15-14, in a dramatic final to win the gold. It marked C. Hurley’s second consecutive gold in women’s epee at the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Kelley Hurley finished in fifth to make a strong case for a women’s epee at-large bid to the forthcoming NCAA championships. She was edged in the quarterfinals by K. French, 15-14, but rebounded with wins over Julia Tikhova of Ohio State, 15-12, and Northwestern’s Katie Cavanaugh, 15-6, to claim fifth.
Hassett’s run to the gold was an empathic one as she did not lose in the direct elimination portion of the contest. She earned the fourth seed and promptly knocked off Anna Kotov of Wayne State, 15-4, in opening round action. Hassett then took out Northwestern’s Whitney White by a 15-5 margin to advance to a semifinal showdown with top-seeded Margarita Tschomakova of Ohio State. In the semis, Hassett recorded a 15-12 win to setup a championship bout against teammate Sarah Borrmann (Beaverton, Ore.).
In a rematch of last season’s Midwest Regional women’s sabre championship bout, Hassett edged Borrmann, 15-12, to claim the gold to reverse the finish form a season ago when Borrmann edged Hassett, 15-13, to claim the 2009 gold. With her silver medal finish this year, Bormmann has now earned a gold, silver and bronze in three NCAA Midwest Regional appearances. Hassett now has a gold to compliment her 2009 silver medal. Borrmann had earned a place in the championship bout with a 15-10 quarterfinal win over Nortwestern’s Alicia Gurrieri and a 15-14 semifinal win over Ohio State’s Allison Miller.
Reese earned her third NCAA Midwest Regional bronze in as many seasons. She recorded a first round win over Wayne State’s Rachel Broderick, 15-3, but was then defeated by Irish teammate Darsie Malynn (Grapevine, Texas), 15-13. In the repechage, Reese took out Ohio State’s Holly McKibben, 15-7, to earn a place in the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Reese avenged her earlier loss Malynn, knocking off her Irish teammate 15-5. But in the semifinals, Reese was bested by top-seeded Oksana Dmytruk, 12-5. Then, in the bronze medal bout, Reese outlasted OSU’s Allison Henvick, 4-2.
Malynn made a strong case for a women’s foil at-large selection by finishing sixth. After falling to Reese in the semis, Malynn beat OSU’s Lindsay Knauer, 15-9, to move into the fifth place bout where she fell to Northwestern’s Dayana Sarkisova, 15-11.
In epee, Vanessa Rosa (El Paso, Texas) finished 10th for the Irish and sophomore Diane Zielinski (Bernardsville, N.J.) 14th. In foil, freshman Grace Hartman (St. Paul, Minn.) placed ninth and sophomore Radmila Sarkisova (Grand Rapids, Mich.) finished 11th. Rounding out the Irish contingent, freshman Abigail Nichols (Concord, Mass.) finished ninth and sophomore Beatriz Almeida (Chappagua, N.Y.) 11th in sabre.
The Midwest Regional concludes tomorrow when the men’s potion of the competition is contested. Fencing gets underway at 9:00 a.m. (CST) as the Irish look to solidify their case for sending 12 individuals to the 2010 NCAA Championship, which will be hosted by Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. on March 25-28.
NCAA Championship Selection Notes
Each team can qualify up to two men and two women per weapon for the NCAA Championship. The winner of each event at the Midwest Regional will receive and automatic bid to the NCAA Championships and the Midwest region has five bids allocated to it for the NCAA Championships in each of the six events. Fencers are nominated by the NCAA Midwest Committee, and confirmed by the NCAA National Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee on Tuesday, March 16. Nominations are based on the pre-regional “Fencer Strength Factor” (40 percent) and Regional Placement (60 percent). Each region also nominates two fencers in each event as at-large candidates; the at-large bids go to the two fencers with the highest Fencer Strength Factor.
Final-14 Standings - Women's Epee1 Hurley, Courtney NOTRE DAME2 French, Kayley NORTHWESTERN3 French, Christa NORTHWESTERN4 Collins, Karalina NORTHWESTERN5 Hurley, Kelley NOTRE DAME6 Cavanaugh, Katie NORTHWESTERN7 Tikhonova, Julia OHIO STATE8 Pozydaev, Mary OHIO STATE9 Domashovetz, Tasha OHIO STATE10 Rosa, Vanessa NOTRE DAME11 Snyder, Brooke CLEVELAND STATE12 Gurnowski, Elyse OHIO STATE13 Niklinska, Joanna NORTHWESTERN14 Zielinski, Diane NOTRE DAME
Final-14 Standings - Women's Foil1 Dmytruk, Oksana OHIO STATE2 Patterson, Devynn NORTHWESTERN3 Reese, Hayley NOTRE DAME4 Henvick, Allison OHIO STATE5 Sarkisova, Dayana NORTHWESTERN6 Malynn, Darsie NOTRE DAME7 Dobbs, Olivia WAYNE STATE8 Knauer, Lindsay OHIO STATE9 Hartman, Grace NOTRE DAME10 Provencal-Dayle, Camil NORTHWESTERN11 Sarkisova, Radmila NOTRE DAME12 McKibben, Holly OHIO STATE13 Broderick, Rachel WAYNE STATE14 Sabrie, Tiaja WAYNE STATE
Final-14 Standings - Women's Sabre1 Hassett, Eileen NOTRE DAME2 Borrmann, Sarah NOTRE DAME3 Miller, Allison OHIO STATE4 Tschomakova, Margarita OHIO STATE5 Miller, Falencia OHIO STATE6 White, Whitney NORTHWESTERN7 Gurrieri, Alicia NORTHWESTERN8 Cheng, Emily OHIO STATE9 Nichols, Abigail NOTRE DAME10 Almeida, Beatriz NOTRE DAME11 Keller, Allison NORTHWESTERN12 McLemore, Ashley DETROIT13 Kotov, Anna WAYNE STATE14 Bryce, Katie WAYNE STATE