March 3, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – On a day that saw the University of Notre Dame earn three podium finishes, it was foil that dominated for the Irish on Saturday at the Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) Championships in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse. Enzo Castellani claimed men’s foil gold, while Madison Zeiss won women’s foil.
After earning runner-up finishes each of his first three years at the event with the Irish, Castellani finally topped the podium after defeating Ohio State’s Chris Colley in the finals, 15-6. Zeiss, meanwhile, copped gold in her very first attempt at the MFC Championships, knocking off Northwestern’s Dayana Sarkisova, 15-12, in the title bout.
Castellani entered direct elimination as the overall top seed after completing pool play with a record of 6-0 with a +28 indicator. Prior to knocking off Colley in the championship, he recorded wins over Zain Shaito (15-12), teammates Grant Hodges (15-7) and Ryan Murphy (15-7), Alexander Shapiro (15-0) and Alexander Zalewski (15-2).
Hodges concluded in seventh place overall, knocking off Rob Stepp (15-13), Alex Biehl (15-2) and Sam Hardwicke-Brown (15-8) before running into Castellani. Nicholas Crebs and Gabriel Acuna finished tied for 11th, with Ryan Murphy (15th), Walter Myers (42nd) and Nick Grady (47th) rounding out the Irish combatants.
Zeiss, much like Castellani, entered direct elimination as the draw’s overall top seed after concluding pool play 5-0 with a perfect +25 indicator. Before earning the gold over Sarkisova, Zeiss piled up victories over Mona Shaito (9-8), Camille Provencal-Dayle (15-7), Marie Deschuytter (10-4) and Shannon Canavan (15-1).
Two other Irish women’s foilists earned top-eight results, as Adriana Camacho finished fifth and Rachel Beck concluded in eighth. Camacho earned direct elimination victories over Monica Welch (15-0), Samantha Kuschke (15-6) and Olivia Dobbs (15-12), while Beck notched wins over Sudeshna Chakraborty (15-0), Isabella Bonello (15-10) and Allison Henvick (15-13).
Two Irish fencers – Michael Rossi (t3rd), James Kaull (5th) – finished in the top eight. Rossi entered as the top seed in direct elimination, earning victories over Cole Golke (15-10), David Sirkin (15-6), teammate Jack Piasio (12-11) and Narayan Pathi (15-12) before falling to Maciek Zmyslowski (15-14) in the semifinals.
Kaull, meanwhile, posted wins over Kevin Semones (15-3), Matthew DeStasio (15-3) and Marco Canevari (15-7) before falling 2-1 to Ognjen Vesic in the quarterfinals. Jack Piasio (12th), Dale Purdy (18th), Ryan McDonough (21st) and Albert He (22nd) round out the men’s epeeists.
Ashley Severson became the second Irish women’s freshman to medal on the day, claiming silver. Despite losing in the title bout to Northwestern’s Kate Cavanaugh, Severson entered direct elimination as the third overall seed and posted elimination victories over Brianne Hefner (15-2), Erin vonKronenberger (15-3), Rose Semmel (15-4) and Courtney Dumas (15-10).
Leading the way in quarterfinal participants for the Irish was men’s sabre, which qualified four into the table of eight. Jason Choy earned the best finish of the group, tying for third, while Keith Feldman and Alexander Coccia tied for sixth and Kevin Hassett placed eighth.
Choy advanced into the semifinals with a 15-5 victory over Ewan Douglas but lost his semifinal bout to eventual champion Rhys Douglas of Ohio State, 15-10. Billy Meckling rounded out the Irish men’s sabreists, placing 11th overall in the 72-member tournament field.
The Irish women’s sabre nearly matched the men’s production, placing three in the table of eight. Abigail Nichols led the way for Notre Dame, finishing fifth, while Lian Osier placed sixth and Beatriz Almeida finished seventh. Kathryn Palazzoto nearly qualified for the quarterfinals, finishing ninth overall, while Marta Stepien (13th), Danielle Guilfoyle (14th) and Marybeth Zier (t21st) rounded out the women’s sabre entrants.
Complete HTML results can be accessed via the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships Tournament Central Page. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a complete recap of the Irish as the Championships shift from individual competition to team draws. Final tournament PDF’s also will be posted to the Tournament Central page as they conclude.
Notre Dame Results - Midwest Fencing Championships
Women's Foil: Men's Foil:1. Madison Zeiss 1. Enzo Castellani5. Adriana Camacho 7. Grant Hodges8. Rachel Beck T11. Nicholas Crebs10. Darsie Malynn T11. Gabriel Acuna12. Radmila Sarkisova 15. Ryan Murphy15. Grace Hartman 42. Walter Myers50. Christina LaBarge 47. Nick Grady
Women's Epee: Men's Epee:2. Ashley Severson T3. Michael Rossi20. Stephanie Myers 5. James Kaull25. Phenix Messersmith 12. Jack Piasio36. Melissa Medina 18. Dale Purdy 21. Ryan McDonough 22. Albert He
Women's Sabre: Men's Sabre:5. Abigail Nichols T3. Jason Choy6. Lian Osier T6. Keith Feldman7. Beatriz Almeida T6. Alexander Coccia9. Kathryn Palazzoto 8. Kevin Hassett13. Marta Stepien 11. Billy Meckling14. Danielle GuilfoyleT21. Marybeth Zier