Feb. 22, 2003


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(Note: see PDF link for final regular-season stats and updated career records.)

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams wrapped up the 2003 regular season by each going 4-0 at the Michigan State Duals, with wins over Detroit, Michigan, Purdue and the host Spartans. The top-ranked Irish men posted the program’s 19th unbeaten season (23-0) while extending the program’s third-longest winning streak to 82 matches (dating back to early in the 2000 season), with the women finishing 21-2 for the season.

The Irish men posted 24-3 wins over Detroit and Purdue while besting MSU and Michigan by 22-5 counts. The Notre Dame women turned in a 26-1 win over Purdue, with 23-4 wins over MSU and Detroit and a 17-10 decision vs. Michigan.

The competition marked the final regular-season bouts for one of the most accomplished senior classes in Notre Dame fencing history, with those eight fencers combining for nearly 1,300 regular-season wins and an .852 winning pct. (1,282-222) – in addition to 15 combined All-America finishes in NCAA Tournament competition (with the ’03 NCAAs still to come). Those seniors include men’s epeeist Jan Viviani (6-0 at MSU; 162-20 career), men’s foilists Ozren Debic (1-0; 157-8) and Forest Walton (10-0; 115-28, year of eligibility left), men’s sabres Gabor Szelle (8-0; 182-13) and Matt Fabricant (8-0; 151-21), women’s epeeists Anna Carnick (2-1; 179-43) and Meagan Call (3-0; 168-52), and women’s foilist Liza Boutsikaris (4-0; 168-37).

Szelle finished 6th all-time at Notre Dame in career men’s regular-season wins (182) and winning percentage (.933, 182-13), Debic ended up 3rd in career win pct. (.952, 157-8) and Viviani climbed from 10th to 8th on the Irish all-time victory list (162, 3rd-best among epeeists). Debic and Viviani (.890, 162-20) also rank 1st for their respective weapons in career winning pct. On the women’s side, Carnick finished 10th in women’s fencing wins (179; 3rd among epeeists) while Call (38-9 in ’03) and Boutsikaris (37-9 in ’03) tied for 11th on the wins list (with 168).

Debic (43-1, .977) completed the 5th-best season winning pct. ever posted by any ND men’s fencer (tops among foilists) while sophomore Michal Sobieraj (5-0 at MSU) wrapped up the 6th-best men’s epee season pct. (.917, 44-4). Junior Kerry Walton (3-0 at MSU) finished the season at 43-5 (.896; 5th-best in ND women’s epee history), pushing her career mark to 93-10. Sophomore foilists Alicja Kryczalo (79-5 career; 40-3 in ’03) and Andrea Ament (69-8; 41-6) both wrapped up their 2003 regular seasons with 4-0 marks at MSU.

The fourth season of women’s sabre competition saw junior Maggie Jordan set the ND record for women’s sabre wins (56-6; 10-0 at MSU) while posting the program’s 2nd-best season winning pct. in women’s sabre (.903) – with her classmate Destanie Milo (.889, 40-5; 8-1 at MSU) completing the 3rd-best women’s sabre season win pct.

The foil squads posted nearly-identical records in 2003 to rank atop the ND weapons, with Ament, Boutsikaris and Kryczalo leading a women’s foil squad that posted a 173-34 overall record in ’03 (.836) while Debic, Walton (45-9) and sophomore Derek Snyder (34-6; did not fence at MSU due to ankle injury) led a 172-35 men’s foil unit (.831). Other weapon records included 166-41 in women’s epee (.801), 165-42 in women’s sabre (.797), 164-43 in men’s sabre (.792) and 156-51 in men’s epee (.754).

The ND men’s foilists have combined for an impressive 424 career wins in regular-season bouts (82 losses, .838) while the women’s foil squad is 377-75 (.834) in career bouts. Call, Carnick and Walton have led a women’s epee group that has racked up 456 combined wins in their careers (125 losses; .795) – with other career marks by weapon squads including 400-68 in men’s sabre (.855), 345-90 in men’s epee (.793) and 327-107 in women’s sabre (.754).

Notre Dame next plays host to the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, March 1-2 in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.


* Debic (10th; 157-8) joined Szelle (48-5 in ’03) and Viviani (44-6 in ’03) in finishing among the ND career top-10 wins leaders while Fabricant (151-21; 49-4 in ’03) moved up from 21st to 16th (6th among sabres) and Walton (115-28) moved from 52nd to 42nd.

* Szelle’s 182 wins and .933 win pct. both rank 4th all-time among ND men’s sabres while Viviani’s .890 career winning pct. is 16th all-time among all ND weapons … Fabricant finished 21st on the win pct. list (.878) … Sobieraj (.933, 70-5) will head into the 2004 season tied with Szelle for 6th on the ND career win pct. list.

* Debic’s .977 win pct. in ’03 (423-1) trails only the three dominating seasons by sabre Mike Sullivan (41-0 in ’78, 53-1 in ’76, 47-1 in ’77) and sabre Ed Baguer’s 30-0 mark in ’92 (min. 30 wins) … Debic also owns three other top-eight ND men’s foil season win pct.’s (42-2 in ’01, 30-2 in ’02, 42-3 in ’01), with Yehuda Kovacs (.971; 34-1 in ’87) owning the previous top foil win pct. season … Debic’s 157 wins rank behind only Jeremy Siek (191, ’94-’97) in ND men’s foil history.

* Viviani (162) moved past ’77 grad. Tim Glass (160) into 3rd on the ND men’s epee wins list, behind Brian Stone (183, ’98) and Carl Jackson (174, ’99).

* Only Anne Hoos (’98; 313) and Nicole Mustilli (’99; 304) own more women’s epee wins in ND history than Carnick’s 179, with Carnick’s .848 season winning pct. (39-7) ranking 10th in women’s epee history.

* Milo (.840, 126-24) now owns the 16th-best career regular-season winning pct. in ND women’s fencing history … the program’s trio of talented second-year women’s fencers – Kryczalo (3rd; .941, 79-5), Walton (8th; .903, 93-10) and Ament (9th; .896, 69-8) will head into 2004 ranked among the program’s top-10 career leaders in winning pct. (they own a combined record of 241-23) … only foilists Maria Panyi (.980, 146-3; ’94-’95) and Sara Walsh (.970, 231-7; ’96-’99) have posted a better win pct. than Kryczalo (among all women’s weapons).