Feb. 27, 2012
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame fencing team, gearing up for the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, claimed three podium finishes Sunday at the Squad Championships. Men’s foil led the charge, winning gold in the 18-team draw.
The Irish sent only three weapon classes to the tournament – men’s foil, men’s sabre, women’s foil – and saw each of the three finish in the top three of their respective draw. The men tied for fifth overall (out of 20 teams) at the event with 104 points, while representing the only men’s team in the field to finish inside the top 15 without competing in each of the three weapon groups. The women, meanwhile, finished 13th (out of 22 teams) with 52 total points despite competing in only one of the three weapons.
The men’s foil unit, comprised of Enzo Castellani, Grant Hodges and Nicholas Crebs, entered the tournament as the third overall seed. After recording wins over Haverford (45-22) and North Carolina (45-33), the Irish faced second seed St. John’s in the semifinals, holding on for the narrow 45-44 victory.
After falling behind 5-0 early in the match, Castellani jumped the Irish back in front after posting a decisive 10-4 win over Wilfred Curioso. Later in the contest, Hodges widened a 27-26 advantage to 35-27 after defeating Curioso, 8-1. Castellani closed out the win by matching Eli Schenkel in the final bout, 5-5, to maintain the one-touch victory.
The championship bout saw the Irish meet up with Penn, the tournament’s fourth overall seed. Trailing for nearly the entirety of the match, the Irish completed the comeback on the effort of Castellani defeating Vidur Kapur in the final bout, 7-1, to close out a 39-36 triumph over the Quakers.
The women’s foil team, comprised of Rachel Beck, Adriana Camacho, Grace Hartman and Madison Zeiss, also advanced to the championship bout but fell to second-seeded Princeton in the match, 45-18. The Irish, seeded as the top team in the draw, advanced to the title bout with wins over CCNY (45-11), Brown (45-33) and St. John’s (28-26) but were unable to tame the Tigers as they jumped out to the early 5-0 advantage and never relinquished the lead.
Jason Choy, Alexander Coccia, Keith Feldman and Kevin Hassett comprised the men’s sabre squad that brought home bronze. The unit entered tournament action as the fourth seed, earning wins over Drew (45-33) and Princeton (45-44) before falling to top-seeded Columbia in the semifinals, 45-38. Choy turned in a stellar effort against Princeton to advance the Irish into semifinal action, defeating Michael Wiest, 19-3, in his second bout to climb the Irish out of a 14-point deficit, before knocking off Phil Dershwitz in the anchor match, 7-4, to escape with the one-point victory.
The three squads now return home to rejoin their teammates as they prepare to play host to the 2012 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships this upcoming Saturday and Sunday. Individual action gets underway Saturday with team draws commencing Sunday.