Jan. 16, 2016
By Michaela Benford
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams hosted five different varsity teams and the University of Florida’s club team at the third annual DeCicco Duals and won every round. The Irish have a full second day ahead of them tomorrow, when they host six more club teams at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.
“Today was important for us to strengthen the cohesiveness of the team,” says head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia. “We are going to a tournament next weekend in New York City that will be one of the strongest tournaments we compete in all season. This weekend is a warm up for us, to see what we can do before the tournament next weekend.”
The Irish had a bye in the first round Saturday morning, but faced former Midwest Fencing Conference foe Detroit in the second round. The men won 22-5, while the women blanked the Titans, 27-0. Moving on to round three, the men defeated Wayne State 25-2 whereas the women won 22-5.
The women’s team faced their biggest hurdle in round four, squaring off against Sacred Heart. The Irish had a tough time gaining momentum, losing four bouts in epee, but regained their composure to take the win 5-4. In sabre, they dropped three bouts but won six, and the foil team clinched the match 8-1. On the men’s side, the Irish dropped one bout in both sabre and epee, but won handily 25-2.
With their game faces back on, the women’s team went on to demolish NJIT 23-4 in round five, and posted matching scores of 24-3 against Lawrence and Florida (club team) in the last rounds of the day. The women currently stand No. 1 in the CollegeFencing360.com Coaches Poll, and have an 11-0 record after today.
In round five, the men’s team lost three bouts each in foil and epee but came back to win 19-8 against New Jersey Institute of Technology. Heading into round 6 they beat the Lawrence Vikings 22-5 and finished the day with a 22-5 win over the Gators. The Irishmen are 10-1 on the season and are ranked second in the CollegeFencing360.com Coaches Poll.
The second day of the DeCicco Duals kicks off at 8 a.m. ET Sunday with McKendree’s club team being the first Irish opponent of the day. Full recap will be available on und.com.
Michaela Benford works in Fighting Irish Media as an intern. A student of Johnson & Wales University, she graduates in May 2016 with a degree in sports management.