Enzo Castellani, men's foil individual champion, clinched the foil team win with his victory over Ohio State's Rhys Douglas.

Irish Finish Second At Midwest Fencing Conference Championships

March 4, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame fencing team saw its two-year Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) Championship run come to an end Sunday after finishing second in team competition with 1,270 points. All six Irish weapons earned top-three results.

Ohio State won the outright title with 1,305 points, while Northwestern finished third with 1,125 points. The Irish men’s team claimed the title, concluding with 660 points. Ohio State finished second with 645 points, while Indiana placed third with 505 points. On the women’s side, Ohio State claimed the title with 660 points, with Northwestern (635) and Notre Dame (610) finishing second and third, respectively.

Notre Dame got its day off to a quick start, claiming gold in both men’s sabre and men’s foil after besting Ohio State in both. After the sabre squad gave up only one bout in matches against Detroit (5-0), Michigan (5-0) and Wayne State (5-3), the squad claimed its second-straight gold by holding off Ohio State, 5-3. The Irish jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the contest, using a pair of wins by Jason Choy and one win by Alexander Coccia. After the two teams traded the following two bouts, Choy knocked off Rhys Douglas (5-1) to complete his 3-0 match and wrap up the title.

Men’s foil also entered into the final bout in convincing fashion, recording wins over Wisconsin (5-0), Northwestern (5-1) and Detroit (5-1) to set up the matchup against the Buckeyes. Grant Hodges and Nickolas Kubik pushed the Irish out to an early 2-0 lead before Ohio State claimed its first win to cut the margin in half. Hodges and Enzo Castellani then won back-to-back bouts to move the score to 4-1 and, after the Buckeyes cut it to 4-2, Castellani clinched the victory with a 5-2 victory over Zain Shaito. It is the second-straight year that men’s foil defeated Ohio State in the finals.

The two squads would meet yet again in the epee final, with Ohio State claiming the title by a score of 5-1. The Irish advanced into the championship with wins over Bowling Green (5-0), Indiana (5-2) and Northwestern (5-2). Jack Piasio earned the lone win in the title bout for the Irish, defeating Kristian Boyadzhiev in the opener, 3-2, with an overtime touch.

Women’s epee made it four consecutive finals reached for the Irish as they advanced into the title with wins over Chicago (5-1), Michigan (5-2) and Iowa (5-0), setting up another matchup with Ohio State. Lian Osier earned a pair of victories over Margarita Tschomakova (5-4) and Allison Miller (5-2), but the Buckeyes swept the remaining five bouts to earn the victory.

Both the Irish women’s foil and epee squads saw their tournament come to an end in the semifinals, falling to Ohio State (5-2) in foil and Northwestern (5-2) in epee. The epee squad moved into the semifinals with victories over Xavier (5-0) and Michigan (5-1) and earned third after defeating Chicago (5-0) in the consolation matchup. The Irish foil, meanwhile, posted wins over Xavier (5-0) and Michigan (5-1) before beating Purdue (5-0) in the consolation match.

Notre Dame now prepares for the NCAA Midwest Regional in hopes of qualifying the maximum 12 fencers for the NCAA Championship. This year’s event gets underway March 11 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Midwest Fencing Conference Championships - Team Results:
Men's Epee - 2nd Place Women's Epee - 3rd Placed. BGSU 5-0 d. Detroit 5-1d. Indiana 5-2 d. Purdue 5-0d. Northwestern 5-2 l. Northwestern 5-2l. Ohio State 5-1 d. Chicago 5-0
Men's Foil - 1st Place Women's Foil - 3rd Placed. Wisconsin 5-0 d. Xavier 5-0d. Northwestern 5-1 d. Michigan 5-1d. Detroit 5-1 l. Ohio State 5-4d. Ohio State 5-2 d. Purdue 5-0
Men's Sabre - 1st Place Women's Sabre - 2nd Placed. Detroit 5-0 d. Chicago 5-1d. Michigan 5-0 d. Michigan 5-2d. Wayne State 5-1 d. Iowa 5-0d. Ohio State 5-3 l. Ohio State 5-2
Men's Team - 1st Place Women's Team - 3rd Place1. Notre Dame 660 1. Ohio State 6602. Ohio State 645 2. Northwestern 6353. Indiana 505 3. Notre Dame 610
Overall Team - 2nd Place1. Ohio State 1,3052. Notre Dame 1,2703. Northwestern 1,125