Notre Dame's seven returning All-Americans include five women's fencers: (kneeling, from left) senior foilist Andrea Ament, fifth-year epeeist Kerry Walton, (standing, from left) sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando, senior foilist Alicja Kryczalo and sophomore sabre Valerie Providenza (photo by Mike Bennett).

Irish Men's And Women's Fencers Set to Take Aim at Program's Seventh NCAA Title In 2005

Jan. 21, 2005

The Notre Dame fencing program’s annual quest for the NCAA combined championship will be boosted in 2005 by a collection of women’s fencers that likely again will rate as the best in the nation. But the ’05 Irish also must overcome several hurdles on the men’s side, relying on a handful of newcomers and unproven veterans to overcome a couple of key losses due to graduation and injury.

Notre Dame’s 2004 women’s team held the No. 1 ranking all season and lived up that billing in the NCAAs, posting the tournament’s most wins in both women’s foil and epee while then-freshman Valerie Providenza took home the sabre title (as one of four Irish women to reach the final in their respective weapons). The arrival of Providenza’s former club teammate and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis now gives the Irish a 1-2 punch in sabre that rivals the team’s potent duos in foil and epee, all combining for what could be the best six-fencer NCAA lineup in women’s fencing history.

Senior foilists Alicja Kryczalo and Andrea Ament lead the way for the Irish as possibly the most dominant same-weapon classmates in the history of the NCAA Championships (men or women). Kryczalo already is a rare three-time NCAA champion while Ament twice has lost to her teammate in the final and was the 3rd-place finisher in 2003.

Another two-time NCAA finalist – fifth-year epeeist Kerry Walton (’02 champion and ’04 runner-up, plus 5th in ’03) – adds even further veteran leadership for the Irish women, with sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando likely to improve on her own 10th-place All-America showing at the ’04 NCAAs. Sophomore sabre Angela Vincent gives the Irish a full complement of returners from the ’04 NCAA unit (she placed 20th) – but she will need to qualify ahead of one of her fellow Oregon Fencing Alliance alums, Providenza or Zagunis, in order to make a return to the NCAAs.

The Notre Dame men’s contingent will look for some clutch performances from several fencers to keep pace with their female counterparts. Two former All-America foilists – Forest Walton (’04 graduate) and current senior Derek Snyder (career-ending hand surgery) – no longer are available to a Notre Dame men’s fencing program that qualified just five of the maximum six fencers (one in epee) for the 2004 NCAAs.

Three-time All-America epeeist Michal Sobieraj is the clear leader of the Notre Dame men’s program and will join Kryczalo, Ament and Walton in the pursuit of a fourth All-America honor – a feat accomplished just 21 times, in all sports, during Notre Dame’s storied athletic history. Sobieraj, a member of Poland’s National Team, has a strong chance to become the program’s first men’s fencing NCAA champion since sabre Gabor Szelle won the title in 2000, with Sobieraj losing the 2003 NCAA crown in overtime before narrowly missing a return to the title bout in ’04. Sophomore Aaron Adjemian and freshman Greg Howard are the leading candidates to provide the Irish with a second NCAA entrant in men’s epee, something that every Notre Dame team had featured from 1997-2003.


Sophomore sabre Patrick Ghattas (left) and senior epeeist Michal Sobieraj will look to lead the Irish men’s fencing team in 2005 (photo by Mike Bennett).



The Notre Dame men do return a pair of NCAA veterans at sabre, with sophomore Patrick Ghattas looking to improve on his All-America 10th-place finish at the ’04 NCAAs while his classmate Matt Stearns nearly joined his classmate in that ’04 honor before placing 14th.

The loss of Walton and Snyder leaves a major void for the foil squad but sophomore Frank Bontempo will be hoping to build off his lateseason surge in 2004 that included filling Snyder’s spot at the NCAAs. Freshman Jakub Jedrkowiak also will be counted on for steady production in his first season and appears up to the task after a runner-up finish at the Penn State Open in the fall of ’04, highlighted by a win over defending NCAA champion Boaz Ellis.

Third-year head coach Janusz Bednarski and his trusty assistant coach Zoltan Dudas hope to mold the 2005 Irish into another contender for the NCAA title. The squad includes three fencers – Kryczalo, Sobieraj and Jedrkowiak – from Bednarski’s homeland of Poland (no previous Notre Dame student-athletes, from any sport, have hailed from Poland) while another common link on the Irish roster (“the Portland Pipeline”) accounts for six of the team’s top fencers. As mentioned above, Providenza, Zagunis and Vincent all are products of the Oregon Fencing Alliance (as is Ghattas) while Orlando and fellow sophomore epeeist Aaron Adjemian both commuted from other parts of the country to train at the Northwest Fencing Center. Former Notre Dame assistant coaches Ed Korfanty (OFA) and Michael Marx (NFC) serve as coaches at the respective Portland-area fencing clubs, providing a connection to Notre Dame fencing history.


Three-time NCAA foil champion Alicja Kryczalo (left) and her classmate Andrea Ament met in the 2002 and ’04 NCAA title bouts, with Ament also placing third in ’03 (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Here’s a look at the Irish, by weapon:


Notre Dame’s “A-Team” (Alicja and Andrea) has brought an unrelenting assault on the college fencing world during their stellar careers with the Irish, as Kryczalo and Ament combined for a 139-22 record (.919) in regular-season bouts from ’02-’04 while winning at a similar clip in the NCAAs (combined 132-18, spanning round-robin and medal bouts). And with plenty of differences between them – ranging from personal background to body type and bouting style – perhaps one of the great keys to their success is their evolving friendship and ability to work together.

“We are very fortunate to have two great fencers like Alicja and Andrea who are so very supportive of one another,” says Bednarski. “Fencing is an individual sport but teamwork also is very important, especially in college team bouts. They work great together and are true leaders for the others on the team, which is something that has been very valuable to our success these past few years.”


The 5-foot-11 Kryczalo already ranks as one of the most accomplished performers in the history of both Notre Dame athletics and collegiate fencing (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Even if she never fenced another bout, Kryczalo (Gdansk, Poland) would rank as one of the most accomplished student-athletes in both Notre Dame (for all sports) and NCAA fencing history. Distance runner Greg Rice – recognized as the nation’s top amateur athlete with the 1940 Sullivan Award – is the only other Notre Dame performer ever to win three NCAA titles, doing so some 65 years ago. On a national scale, one other women’s fencer and seven men ever have collected three NCAA fencing titles while only two – NYU sabre Michael Lofton (`87) and Penn State foilist Olga Kalinovskaya (`96) – have gone on to capture a fourth NCAA crown.

The 5-foot-11 Kryczalo’s first three seasons with the Irish included winning nearly 94% of her total bouts (284-20), spanning 128-10 in the regular season (.941; 2nd-best ever among ND women’s fencers), two titles and a runner-up finish in the Midwest Fencing Conference (47-1), three Midwest Regional titles (40-3) and her 69-6 wizardry at NCAAs – not to mention three Penn State Open titles before losing a PSU Open overtime semifinal bout, in the fall of `04. Her performance as a freshman in ’02 will remain a legend of NCAA Tournament history, as she scorched the round-robin field (23-0) with a magical +100 in total-point indicators (losing a total of just 15 points in those 23 five-touch bouts).


Kryczalo – who owns a 3.45 cumulative GPA as a double major in psychology and political science – could add Academic All-America honors to her already impressive resume (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Kryczalo – who has held her own fencing versus members of the Notre Dame men’s team – carries a respectable world ranking of No. 127 and is a 2008 Olympic hopeful, as evidenced by her impressive 6th-place finish at the 2004 European Championships. She also could add Academic All-America honors to her lengthy resume in 2005, thanks to a 3.45 cumulative GPA as a double major in psychology and political science.

“I’ve used the term powerhouse before in describing Alicja and it continues to apply to her now as a senior, in all aspects of her life here at Notre Dame. She truly is the full package,” says Bednarski. “She has proven to be a great student and also is such a wonderful leader for our program. Many elite fencers are focused only on themselves but Alicja has a very team-oriented personality and is a very genuine and caring person.

“Beyond all of her other attributes, when she steps on the strip there is no doubt that you are dealing with a tremendous competitor. She is very driven and serious in her training and that shows up in her bouting. She is able to exploit her size and reach but also is excellent at reading the situation and adjusting quickly.


Andrea Ament likely would have claimed at least one NCAA title earlier in her career if not for overlapping with her talented classmate Kryczalo (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“Her style has become more athletic in the past year and she also has improved tactically, making her even tougher to beat. But she still is like that deadly butterfly out on the strip, with a fast hand, great footwork with sabre-like acceleration, and the ability to change the distance. I don’t know that Notre Dame will ever see another champion like her – in any sport – and we all feel privileged to be involved with her great career as part of the Fighting Irish fencing program.”

The 5-foot-4 Ament (Gates Mill, Ohio) has a distinctly different style from Kryczalo but has fashioned her own dominant career that includes the two NCAA runner-up finishes and a 3rd-place finish during the 2003 team championship season. The No. 7-ranked U.S. women’s foilist owns a .902 career winning percentage in regular-season bouts (8th-best in Notre Dame women’s fencing history; 111-12, 42-4 in ’04) and could be an NCAA champion in her own right if her career had not overlapped with Kryczalo’s.


The 5-fot-4 Ament has proven to be a tough battler by dodging and shifting in the shorter distance (photo by Matt Cashore).



“Andrea has a smaller frame but she is able to make quick decisions and change the target. She fights in the shorter distance and shows great proficiency and skill to dodge the touch, close the target and change position of her body,” says Bednarski.

“Andrea also is a very clever and mentally-tough fencer who can win the tough bouts and can break her opponent’s will with that quick step. She does a great job maximizing her high-level technique and could be even more effective this season by becoming a bit more athletic in her bouting.”

Freshmen Rachel Cota (Altadena, Calif.) and Melanie Bautista (Dayton, Ohio) round out the likely top four in women’s foil, with junior Colleen Walsh taking a season off as she studies abroad in 2004-05.


Freshman foilist Rachel Cota will be aiming for some key wins during the dual-meet season (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Cota has a classical style and solid technical skill but needs consistent bouting experience to emerge as a regular contributor. Bautista is a tremendous athlete who has excelled as an All-America karate performer while competing in various national and international events. Noted for her quick reaction time, fighting spirit and a style that includes elements of sabre fencing (her weapon as a prep), Bautista carries big potential and could become an impact contributor as she finetunes her technique.


Bontempo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) came up with a timely surge at the end of the 2004 season that included placing third at the Midwest Regional to earn the first alternate spot for the NCAAs. The wiry lefthander then was rotated into the NCAA field, due to Snyder’s hand injury, and gained valuable experience while competing in the pressure-packed NCAA atmosphere. The graduation of Walton and Snyder’s career-ending surgery suddenly leaves the second-year foilist Bontempo as the unit’s most experienced fencer on the collegiate level.


Sophomore foilist Frank Bontempo will be looking to build on his lateseason surge in 2004 that included an appearance in the NCAAs (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“Frank is a very tough fighter who is becoming more confident in all aspects of his fencing and has great potential,” says Bednarski of Bontempo, who compiled a 44-16 record during the ’03-’04 regular season. “He makes great use of a very modern style and has an excellent combination of athleticism and intellect that make him a dangerous foil fencer.”

Jedrkowiak (Leszno, Poland) – who showed he is ready for collegiate fencing with a runner-up finish at the Penn State Open – is a proven winner as one of the top junior-level fencers in his native Poland. And with former All-Americans Walton and Snyder no longer in the mix, the fun-loving freshman certainly will be counted on for key contributions in the 2005 season.


Freshman foilist Jakub Jedrkowiak showed he is ready for the challenges of college fencing after placing second at the Penn State Open (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“Jakub is similar to Bontempo is having that good blend of intellect and sporting ablity,” says Bednarski. “His style is more technical-based and he likes to have an ordered approach to his bouting, with a clever use of tactical solutions. Jakub has more actions and makes a bigger transformation on the strip, whereas Frank probably is the more athletic and aggressive fencer. But they both will be very important to our success this season and we have confidence in their ability.”

Freshman Diego Quinonez (San Salvador, El Salvador) is emerging as a dangerous fencer, due to his technical ability, speed and reactions. A rare product from the Latin American fencing community (and Notre Dame’s first-ever fencer from El Salvador), Quinonez could quickly “put it all together” (in the words of Bednarski) as he assimilates tactical training into his bouting performance.


Senior Michal Sobieraj again should be in the mix for the NCAA men’s epee title (photo by Pete LaFleur).




Sobieraj (Krakow, Poland) again should be on the short list of the favorites to win the 2005 NCAA title, after losing the 2003 final in overtime and narrowly missing a spot in the ’04 title bout. Known for his classic combination of speed and power, the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder carries a .933 career winning percentage in regular-season bouts (111-8; 41-3 in ’04) that would rank as the best in Notre Dame men’s epee history and fifth among all men’s weapons. The three-time All-American (he also was 10th at the ’02 NCAAs) did not begin fencing until the age of 13 but steadily has emerged on the international stage, as a 2008 Olympic hopeful and member of Poland’s epee squad that placed fourth at the 2003 World Championships.

“Michal is able to excel as an elite epeeist due to his physical posture, long range, intellectual bouting tactics and that unorthodox style that works so well for him,” says Bednarski. “He also is emerging as a leader for the program and has proven to be a very dangerous fencer with more consistency and control of his emotions. It would be great to end his career with another shot at the NCAA title.”

The lefthanded Howard (Granger, Ind.) – whose father George is a longtime psychology professor at Notre Dame – could prove to be one of the key factors to the 2005 team’s success, as the probable No. 2 epeeist behind Sobieraj. The Indiana Fencing Academy product was listed 8th in the U.S. under-20 men’s epee rankings and claimed the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Nationals while also placing 8th at the Penn State Open in the fall of `04.


Sophomore Aaron Adjemian narrowly missed a spot in the 2004 NCAA epee field (photo by Matt Cashore).



“Greg has followed the Notre Dame fencing program throughout his life and he knows about the spirit and tradition of this place,” says Bednarski. “He is very calm off the strip but is a battler when it comes time for bouting, in the true name of the Fighting Irish. He makes good use of a very modern style, has good reaction time and is focused until the last touch. We hope that he makes steady progress to emerge as the leader of our epee program after we lose Sobieraj at the end of this season.”

Adjemian (El Paso, Texas) compiled a 28-16 regular-season record as a freshman before registering a 4th-place finish at the Midwest Regional, leaving him just shy of claiming a spot in the 2004 NCAA field. A quality fencer who was listed 9th in the U.S. Under-20 men’s epee rankings, the Northwest Fencing Center product hopes to have the chance to help the Irish at future NCAA Championships.

“Aaron uses his modern style in a very elegant fashion and it always is enjoyable to watch him fence,” says Bednarski. “He has the high level of technical ability that makes him capable of winning against any opponent in college fencing but he will need to organize his yearlong training to be a bigger contributor for us in the future.”

Fellow sophomore Patrick Gettings (Lake Forest, Ill.) saw limited action as a freshman (9-6) but appears ready for a greatly expanded role in 2005. The 6-foot-1 lefthander has shown glimpses of top-level talent – including a 6th-place finish at the 2004 Summer Nationals – and could deliver some key wins in 2005, due to his quick decision-making and assortment of technical tricks.


Kerry Walton has returned for her fifth year and will be making a run at her third appearance in the women’s epee final (photo by Pete LaFleur).




Walton (Londonderry, N.H.) returns for her final season as the consummate leader of the Notre Dame fencing program, combining her tireless work ethic and success on the strip with an engaging personality and steady focus on team goals. The three-time All-American and 2002 NCAA champion (plus `04 runner-up and 5th in `03) owns an .863 career regular-season winning percentage (132-21, including 39-11 in ’04) that ranks second all-time among Notre Dame women’s epeeists. She made a strong statement of her status as an elite fencer during a whirlwind five-week stretch that included winning the ’02 NCAA title before taking home the bronze at the World Junior Championships and then winning the U.S. Nationals.

“Kerry has the rare combination of natural athleticism, mental toughness and knowledge of technique that make her such a talented epee fencer,” says Bednarski of Walton, who checks in at the No. 7 spot in the U.S. women’s epee rankings.


Sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando closed the 2004-05 season with a 45-4 record in regular-season bouts (photo by Pete LaFleur).



“She is a strong and quick fighter with high-class technique, tremendous accuracy with her blade and great decision-making on the strip. The key to taking her fencing to another level will be becoming more athletic in her training. Agility is now key to athletic fencing and she will be trying several new training techniques, including fencing against some of our men’s fencers to prepare her for the tougher bouts versus taller fencers.”

Orlando (Brookline, Mass.) started slow as a freshman before winning 45 of her final 49 regular-season bouts (49-13 overall) and earning All-America honors with a 10th-place finish at the 2004 NCAAs, highlighted by a win over eventual NCAA champ Anna Garina. Currently ranked No. 2 on the USFA under-20 charts (and 12th overall among all women’s epeeists), Orlando has plenty of international experience that includes competing with the U.S at the 2003 and ’04 Junior World Championships.

“Kerry Walton has been a great mentor for Amy and they have several similarities, including that ambitious attitude on the strip and the desire to be immersed in fencing,” says Bednarski. “Amy makes up for her smaller frame with quickness and a fighting spirit, plus great timing and tactical instincts. She also has become more agile and athletic in her bouting and should have a greater level of consistency in her second year of college fencing.”

Three seniors – Rebecca Chimahusky (Bartlesville, Okla.), Jocelyn Landgraf (West Hills, Calif.) and Natalie Bustamante (Bakersfield, Calif.) – combine to give the epee squad several options during dual matches.


Becca Chimahusky is one of four seniors on Notre Dame’s 2005 women’s epee team (photo by Matt Cashore).



The 5-foot-11 Chimahusky made a big jump in her production during the ’03-’04 season, when the former prep soccer player totaled a 39-19 record to earn the women’s fencing team’s “most improved” award (she posted a 20-6 record as a sophomore). A quality sparring partner for Walton and Orlando – due to her reach, improved strength and an expanding number of actions – Chimahusky is noted for her work ethic and again should provide plenty of quality wins during the dual-meet season.

Landgraf (16-10 career record) returns to the program after studying in Rome during the 2004 spring semester. An athletic performer with a background in dance, she competed at the 2003 Duke Duals and could find herself among the starting four during the ’05 season.

Bustamante (40-19 career record) is a former prep basketball player who studied in Spain during the ’03 fall semester before returning to Notre Dame and the fencing program. She went on to turn in a 20-14 record during the ’04 spring season and showed the skill to compete with top opponents, highlighted by a win over Ohio State standout Alexandra Shklar that helped the Irish edge the Buckeyes (14-13) at the Notre Dame Duals.


Sophomore Valerie Providenza returns in 2005 as the defending NCAA champion in women’s sabre (photo by Pete LaFleur).




The battle-tested Providenza (Beaverton, Ore.) already had claimed two Junior Olympics titles before adding an impressive championship in the collegiate fencing realm by becoming the Notre Dame fencing program’s first freshman sabre fencer ever to win the NCAA title (after a 39-6 regular-season record). Rated 9th on the USFA under-20 women’s sabre charts and 13th overall among U.S. women’s sabres, Providenza showed she is primed for another strong season after winning the Penn State Open in the fall of ’04.

“Valerie certainly can take her fencing to another level and she has shown the drive and dedication needed to make that next step,” says Bednarski. “She uses a modern style that is well suited to her great combinations of sabre qualities – tremendous speed, good range, a physical presence and the quick analyzing and decision-making that can turn momentum her way. With a little more consistency and experience with analyzing the tougher opponents, Valerie should continue to be in the mix for the top honors in college fencing and beyond.”


The arrival of Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis gives Notre Dame one of the elite women’s sabre duos in NCAA history (photo by Mike Bennett).



Fellow Beaverton native Zagunis gained plenty of publicity as an Olympic hero with her gold-medal performance in Athens, but she has been competing on a high level for several years and currently stands No. 2 in the world women’s sabre rankings (also holding the top under-20 ranking). The former high school soccer player signed with Notre Dame in the fall of 2002 but delayed her admission one year in order to chase her Olympic dream. She arrived one week late for the fall semester but has made a quick transition to life as a college student-athlete.

“What can you say about Mariel Zagunis? We have added a great athlete to our program. She is goal-oriented in all aspects of her life and shows so many levels of dominating skill in her fencing,” says Bednarski. “The number of actions she’s learned allows her to move everywhere and she has a great ability to read and anticipate the actions of her opponent. She also is very serious in her workout regimen and has an added level of endurance training that makes her even tougher to beat.

“We have several fencers with a background in soccer and that’s a good sport for training as a fencer. You have the same explosiveness – running and slowing – and you have to predict situations while also going one-on-one. It creates athleticism, speed and reaction time that translate very well to the fencing strip.”


Sophomore Angela Vincent – who is reunited at Notre Dame with her club teammates Providenza and Vincent – gained valuable NCAA Tournament experience in 2004 (photo by Pete LaFleur).



Vincent (Lake Oswego, Ore.) – listed 25th in the U.S. under-20 women’s sabre rankings – could round out one of the top three-fencer combinations in NCAA women’s sabre history. The lefthander is coming off a strong freshman year in which she went 41-10 in the regular season and clinched a spot in the NCAAs with her runner-up finish at the Midwest Regional.

“Angela has a wonderful team attitude and spirit and she showed last year that she can compete with the best in college fencing,” says Bednarski. “One of her strengths always has been reading the bouts and making proper use of distance. She is looking to have a boost in the level of her athletic training and we expect another very strong season from her.”

Danielle Davis (Grand Rapids, Mich.) returned to the program for the 2004-05 school year, after deciding to attend law school at Notre Dame. The former walk-on – who played softball and basketball during her prep days – was named the women’s sabre team’s co-MVP in ’03-’04, when she racked up a 32-2 record (pushing her career mark to 82-27). Noted for her leadership and team organization skills, Davis will serve as the women’s sabre team captain in 2005 and should continue to make an impact for the Irish due to her surprising actions on the strip and good use of timing, speed and reactions.


Sophomore Patrick Ghattas is one of the top-ranked young sabres in the nation (photo by Pete LaFleur).




Ghattas (Beaverton, Ore.) could be on the verge of contending for the NCAA title, after compiling a 36-4 regular-season record as a freshman and earning All-America honors with his 10th-place finish at the ’04 NCAAs. The Oregon Fencing alliance product checks in at No. 2 in the U.S. under-20 men’s sabre rankings (he’s listed 23rd among all men’s sabres) and turned in some solid results in the fall of ’04, including a 4th-place finish at the Penn State Open and nearly earning a spot in the finals at the North American Cup in Richmond, Va. (he also won the Junior Olympics title earlier in 2004).

“Patrick is very serious in his training and is very well-prepared, technically and tactically. He makes great use of his compact frame, with a smooth style and explosiveness,” says Bednarski. “Patrick is a classic fighter who battles for every point. He can make effective attacks versus a bigger fencer because of his agility and decision-making, which includes a great sense to quickly judge the distance. He should continue to develop into one of the best young sabre fencers in the country.”


Sophomore Matt Stearns is one of many Janusz Bednarski-coached sabre fencers who have gone on to compete in the NCAAs (photo by Matt Cashore).



The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Stearns (Minnetrista, Minn.) also had a solid freshman campaign, compiling a 35-9 regular-season record before narrowly missing All-America honors with a 14th-place finish at the NCAAs. Listed 14th in the USFA under-20 men’s sabre rankings, Stearns opened his sophomore season with a 6th-place finish at the Penn State Open and 10th at the Junior World Cup in Louisville, Ky.

“Matt is a very devoted and ambitious fencer who could be even more effective with some specialized training to handle the stressful situations and channel his emotions,” says Bednarski. “You don’t see many tall sabre fencers because it requires agility and a quick change of direction, but Matt is very quick for his size and makes great use of his big wingspan. He is improving his technique and has many good actions, so he should be able to develop into a consistent performer who can be an All-American at the NCAAs.”

Junior Nicholas Diacou (New York, N.Y.) and senior John Espinosa (Plantation, Fla.) also should be regular contributors to the 2005 men’s sabre squad. Diacou posted a 19-12 record in his first season of competition with the Irish (’03-’04) but likely will be counted on for a more expanded role in 2005. “Nico comes from a great fencing area in New York City and still has great potential as a college fencer,” says Bednarski. “He has a very good, modern style and has the quickness and reaction skills to compete with the best opponents. We are hoping that, with more training this year, he can bring it all together and be a force for us.”

Espinosa compiled a 34-13 record in two previous seasons as a walk-on member of the sabre squad. A soccer and taekwondo competitor during his youth, he has made steady progress through his bouting experience and was named the Notre Dame men’s fencing team’s most improved fencer for the ’03-’04 season (when he went 21-8).


Danielle Davis



2004-05 Notre Dame Women’s Fencing Capsule

Captains (2003 record)
Epee: Kerry Walton, Sr. (39-11) ***
Foil: Alicja Kryczalo, Sr. (49-5) ***
Sabre: Danielle Davis, Sr. (32-2)

Other Top Returners (2004 record)
Epee: Amy Orlando, So. (49-13) *
Foil: Andrea Ament, Jr. (42-4) ***
Sabre: Valerie Providenza, So. (39-6) *
Angela Vincent, So. (41-10) #

Top Letterwinners Lost (2004 record)
Foil: Maggie Jordan (30-17)##
Sabre: Destanie Milo (40-12) ##*
Note: Jordan competed in foil and sabre

Top Newcomers
Sabre: Mariel Zagunis (Beaverton, Ore.)
Foil : Rachel Cota (Altadena, Calif.)

* – All-America honors
# – NCAA participant (non-All-American)


Diego Quinonez



2004-05 Notre Dame Men’s Fencing Capsule

Returning All-Americans (2004 record)
Epee: Michal Sobieraj, Sr. (41-3) ***
Sabre: Patrick Ghattas, So. (36-4) *

Other Top Returners (2004 record)
Epee: Aaron Adjemian, So. (28-16)
Foil: Frank Bontempo, So. (44-16)#
Sabre: Matthew Stearns, So. (35-9)#

Top Letterwinners Lost (2004 record)
Epee: North Carey (25-17)
Foil: Forest Walton (43-8) #*#
Derek Snyder, `05 sr./inj. (38-6)**
Sabre: Brian Dosal (22-9)

Top Newcomers
Epee: Greg Howard (South Bend, Ind.)
Foil: Jakub Jedrkowiak (Leszno, Poland)
Diego Quinonez (San Salvador, El Salvador)

* – All-America honors
# – NCAA participant (non-All-American)