March 6, 2004

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams – each competing minus a top fencer – both finished second to Ohio State in Saturday’s team competition at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse. The women’s competition was tightly bunched, with OSU (490) edging the host Irish (485) and Northwestern (475).

The weekend concludes on Sunday with the individual competition, set to begin at 8:00 a.m. – with key semifinal and final bouts slated for late morning and early afternoon.

Saturday’s final event saw Ohio State survive a showdown with Notre Dame in sabre, 5-3. If the Irish had won the eighth bout, it would have set up a final bout between OSU All-American Louise-Bond Williams and ND’s Valerie Providenza (the ’04 Junior Olympic champion).

Some quirks in the seeding procedure resulted in many of the ND-OSU matchups coming prior to the final or even the semifinals. Notre Dame – which fenced without a pair of two-time All-Americans in women’s epeeist Kerry Walton and men’s foilist Derek Snyder – also dropped a close decision to the Buckeyes in the finals of the women’s foil (5-4) and men’s epee (5-3) competitions, while losing to OSU in the semifinals of men’s foil and men’s sabre. The Irish women’s epee squad also lost in the semifinals, to the fifth-ranked Northwestern unit.

Here are additional notes (by weapon), followed by the full final standings:

Women’s Foil – ND defeated Wayne State (5-1) and Northwestern (5-2) before losing the 5-4 title showdown vs. OSU … top ND results vs. NU included juniors Alicja Kryczalo (5-2, 5-2) and Andrea Ament (5-3, 5-2) both sweeping NU All-American Julia Foldi and top newcomer Jessica Florendo … Kryczalo and Ament then both beat OSU’s Metta Thompson but they both lost to Hannah Thompson.

Men’s Foil – ND defeated Wayne State (5-0) before losing to OSU in the semifinals (5-1) and beating Michigan for 3rd (5-1) … fifth-year fencer Forest Walton posted a 5-3 win over Alexander Law but the Irish were unable to overcome the absence of Snyder … OSU had a routine final, beating Michigan State (5-0).

Women’s Epee – despite the absence of Walton, ND posted a 5-1 quartefinal win over OSU thanks to a sweep by freshman Amy Orlando (incuding a 5-4 win over three-time All-American Alexandra Scklar) and wins by junior Rebecca Chimahusky and sophomore Marielle Connor (vs. Talia Viggers) … the Irish then lost to Northwestern (5-2) but beat Michigan for 3rd place … Wayne State went on the beat Northwestern in the final (5-4).

Men’s Epee – ND defeated Purdue (5-2) and Wayne State (5-2) before losing the final to OSU (5-3) … junior Michal Sobieraj (5-2) and senior North Carey (5-2) both posted wins over WSU All-American Wojciech Dudek.

Women’s Sabre – the Irish beat WSU (5-0) and Michigan (5-1) before losing to OSU in the title matchup (5-3) … ND’s wins included freshman Angela Vincent over Louise Bond-Williams (5-2) while Vincent’s classmate Valerie Providenza (5-1) and senior captain Destanie Milo (5-4) both were winners over Marguerite Plekhanov.

Men’s Sabre – ND best Wisconsin (5-0) but lost to OSU in the semifinals (5-0), before besting Northwestern for 3rd place (5-1) … OSU beat WSU in the sabre final (5-0)

2004 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships Day One Results (team competition)

Men’s – 1. Ohio State 540; 2. Notre Dame 475; 3. Wayne State 450; 4. Michigan 395; 5. Northwestern 355; 6. Michigan State 350; 7. Chicago 305; 8. Purdue 280; 9. Lawrence 260; 10. Cleveland State 220; 11. Wisconsin 195; 12. Detroit 165.

Women’s – 1. Ohio State 490; 2. Notre Dame 485; 3. Northwestern 475; 4. Wayne State 430; 5. Michigan State 395; 6. Michigan 390; 7. Detroit 315; 8. Purdue 265; 9. Chicago 185; 10. Lawrence 170; 11. Cleveland State 165; 12. Wisconsin 75.

Overall – 1. Ohio State 1030; 2. Notre Dame 960; 3. Wayne State 880; 4. Northwestern 830;5. Michigan 785; 6. Michigan State 745; 7. Purdue 545; 8. Chicago 490; 9. Detroit 480; 10. Lawrence 430; 11. Cleveland State 385; 12. Wisconsin 270.