DETROIT, Mich. — The University of Notre Dame fencing program is showing no signs of slowing down after sweeping the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships last month. Instead, the third-ranked Irish men and women captured four NCAA Midwest Regional titles Saturday at the University of Detroit Mercy and positioned themselves to qualify the maximum 12 fencers for the 2019 National Collegiate Fencing Championships.
With the four regional championships — won by Kara Linder (women’s sabre), Morgan Partridge (women’s foil), Miriam Grady (women’s epee) and Marcello Olivares (men’s foil) — the Irish have now claimed at least four regional titles in back-to-back years. Last season, they won five titles which is thought to be the most in program history.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish women topped the podium in all three weapons, led by ACC women’s sabre champion Linder, senior foilist Partridge and the ACC Championships Most Valuable Fencer Grady. Linder went 15-1 on the day with a +33 indicator to capture her second regional title in a row, while Partridge (13-2, +30) Grady (12-4, +23) each secured their first regional crown.
Stefani Deschner, last month’s ACC women’s foil champion, also earned a spot on the podium as she took home bronze with an 11-4 (+28) record on the day.
The men’s competition followed, and the Irish picked up where they left off. In the men’s foil competition, Olivares, who was also named Most Valuable Fencer at the ACC Championships, continued to dominate as he posted an unblemished 14-0 record with a +51 indicator to claim his first regional title. Andrew Machovec, the ACC men’s foil champion, finished 12-2 (+34) to bring home silver.
In men’s sabre, the Irish added another medal as Jared Smith finished 13-2 with a +45 indicator to place second in the competition.
The day wrapped up with men’s epee, and the Irish claimed one more podim spot. Harrison Kimatian posted a 13-3 record with a +25 indicator to take second and lock up the final medal of the day for Notre Dame.
Midwest region fencers can qualify up to five competitors in women’s foil, women’s epee and men’s sabre and four in women’s sabre, men’s epee and men’s foil. Those finishing outside those parameters may be considered for the national championship event on an at-large basis.
The Irish will learn their NCAA fate on Tuesday, March 10, when the final selections for the NCAA Championships are announced. This year’s championship will take place March 21-24 at the TCF Center in Detroit.
NCAA Midwest Regional Championship
March 7, 2020
University of Detroit Mercy
1. Kara Linder (15-1, +33)
4. Regina O’Brien (12-4, +24)
5. Reghan Ward (11-5, +26)
8. Natalie Disher (10-6, +10)
1. Morgan Partridge (13-2, +30)
3. Stefani Deschner (11-4, +28)
5. Samantha Viqueira (10-5, +30)
1. Miriam Grady (12-4, +23)
4. Amanda Sirico (11-5, +24)
7. Dasha Yefremenko (9-7, +5)
10. Julia Barry (8-7, -13)
13. Giorgia Giordano (1-4, -6)
2. Jared Smith (13-2, +45)
4. Malcolm Fields (11-4, +38)
6. Alessandro Contreras (10-5, +22)
1. Marcello Olivares (14-0, +51)
2. Andrew Machovec (12-2, +34)
2. Harrison Kimatian (13-3, +25)
4. Valentin Matveev (11-5, +19)
8. Joshua Zhang (9-7, -9)
11. Darius Zacharakis (6-10, -3)