Sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando's sweep of Ohio State helped the Irish women knock off the top-ranked Buckeyes (photos by Pete LaFleur).

Irish Women's Fencers Keep Rolling With 16-11 Win Over Top-Ranked Ohio State; Men Fall To OSU (11-16)

Jan. 30, 2005

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2-ranked Notre Dame women’s fencing team closed out an undefeated weekend at the Notre Dame Duals with a 6-0 showing on Sunday in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse, highlighted by a 16-11 victory over top-ranked Ohio State (quickly avenging a 14-13 loss to the Buckeyes at last week’s NYU Duals). The Notre Dame men upped their season record to 13-3 with a 6-1 record on the final day, with their only loss coming vs. top-ranked OSU (11-16).

Both teams also tallied wins over Cleveland State (men 22-5, women 26-1), Lawrence (27-0, 25-2), Detroit (24-3, 25-2), Wayne State (21-6, 24-3) and Chicago (24-3, 26-1), with the men also adding a 21-6 victory over Northwestern.

The Notre Dame women’s team finished the home weekend 12-0 while the men were 10-2.

All three Irish women’s squads turned in impressive performances, with the foilists leading the way (48-6) followed by the epee and sabre squads (both 47-7) for nearly-identical records across each weapon. Overall, the women won 88-percent of their bouts on Sunday while raising their season match record to 14-2.

Sophomore epeeist Amy Orlando led all Notre Dame fencers with an 18-0 showing. Orlando has ripped off 27 consecutive wins after a 9-10 start to the season. The World Championship hopeful had a similar beginning in ’03-’04 (4-9) before heating up for a 45-4 regular-season finish during that rookie year. Other top women’s performers on the second and final day included four veterans: fifth-year epeeist Kerry Walton (13-1), the senior foil duo of Alicja Kryczalo (9-0) and Andrea Ament (15-1), and sabre Danielle Davis (12-1), who has remained with the Irish program while attending law school at Notre Dame.

The Notre Dame men’s epee team continued its strong start (51-12 on Sunday), led by near-perfect records from senior Michal Sobieraj (20-1) and sophomore Aaron Adjemian (10-1) . With its 7-0 match record today – including victories over the talented Ohio State (7-2) and Wayne State’s (5-4) squads – the Irish men’s epee team has defeated all 16 of its opponents this season.

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Sophomore sabre Patrick Ghattas and the rest of the Irish fencers engaged in another heated battle with Ohio State in Sunday’s action at the Notre Dame Duals.

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Other top showings by the men included a pair of foilists – freshman Jakub Jedrkowiak (13-2) and sophomore Frank Bontempo (16-3) – and the sophomore sabre tandem of Matthew Stearns (12-3) and Patrick Ghattas (12-4).

Freshman sabre Mariel Zagunis won all five of her bouts, in a brief showing on Sunday. Following Notre Dame’s victory over Ohio State, the Olympic gold medalist boarded a flight to Oregon, where she was to be honored Sunday night as a finalist for the 2004 Bill Hayward Amateur Athlete of the Year for her home state. Sophomore sabres Valerie Providenza and Angela Vincent – longtime teammates of Zagunis at the Oregon fencing Alliance – each finished Sunday with a 15-3 mark.

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Fifth-year epeeist Kerry Walton scored a key win over OSU’s Kaela Brendler, avenging her loss from last week’s NYU Duals.

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ND-OSU NOTES – The women’s matchup was hotly contested, with no team taking more than a two-bout advantage until Notre Dame claimed four of the final five bouts to win 16-11 … the Irish women posted a 6-3 win in foil, 5-4 in sabre and 6-3 in epee (a boost of two wins from last week’s results, when OSU claimed the 5-4 epee edge) … Walton gained personal redemption over OSU’s Kaela Brendler with a 4-2 victory … it was Brendler’s 5-1 victory over Walton last week (in the 27th and final bout) that clinched the 14-13 win for the Buckeyes at the NYU Duals … Orlando (4-3) and senior Becca Chimahusky (2-1) also bested Brendler for the key sweep of OSU’s top epeeist … Ament’s 5-2 victory over longtime rival Metta Thompson clinched the Irish victory at 14-10 while Kryczalo swept the Thompson twins (4-3 vs. Hanna, 5-2 vs. Metta; with Hanna beating Ament, 4-2) … Zagunis swept her three bouts against the young OSU sabres … the ND men jumped out to an 8-2 lead over OSU before the Buckeyes sabre squad took over by sweeping all nine of its bouts (the layout of the strips again led to women’s and men’s sabre sharing the same area, thus making sabre the final weapon for the ND-OSU match) … Sobieraj defeated fellow All-American Denis Tolkachev (5-2) for the second straight week (he also beat the Russian standout in the 2004 NCAA 3rd-place bout) … Adjemian and freshman Greg Howard each posted 2-1 records as the men’s epee team bested OSU by a 7-2 margin … the men’s foil squad improved from last week’s 7-2 showing vs. OSU but dropped all three bouts to ’04 NCAA champ Boaz Ellis, en route to a 4-5 day vs. the Buckeyes.

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Head coach Janusz Bednarski talks strategy with sophomore sabre Angela Vincent during the ND Duals.

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OTHER ND DUALS NOTES – Sobieraj’s lone loss of the day came against fellow All-American and Polish native Marek Petraszek of Wayne State (3-4)… Sobieraj and Howard both scored 5-2 wins over WSU All-American Wojciech Dudek … WSU epeeist and ’04 NCAA champion Anna Garina tallied a 3-2 win over Walton (the ’04 runner-up) but Orlando scored a 5-4 win over the defending champ 5-4 … Orlando and Walton also posted 5-4 victories over WSU All-American Anna Vinnikov … top women’s records for the two-day tournament were as follows Zagunis (18-0), Ament (31-1), Kryczalo (20-1), Orlando (31-3), Walton (23-3), Davis (21-3), freshman foilist Melanie Bautista (27-5; 14-2 on Sunday), Providenza (27-5) and Vincent (30-4) … on the men’s side, the top ND Duals records belonged to: Sobieraj 33-1, Adjemian 17-2, freshman foilist Jedrkowiak 25-3, Stearns 24-3, Howard 18-5 and Ghattas 21-6.

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Sabre Mariel Zagunis has raced out to a 29-1 start in her first season of collegiate fencing.

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RECORD BOOK UPDATE – Sobieraj (154-10; 43-2 in ’05) vaulted all the way to 14th on the ND men’s fencing list for career wins (all weapons) … just five ND men’s epeeists ever have totaled more wins: Brian Stone (183), Carl Jackson (174), Jan Viviani (162), Tim Glass (160) and Brian Casas (156) … Sobieraj, with his .939 career win pct., remains 5th in the storied history of ND men’s fencing, behind sabres Leszek Nowosielski (.980, 97-2, ’88-’91), Mike Sullivan (.979, 183-4; ’76-’79), foilist Ozren Debic (.952, 157-8; ’00-’03) and sabre David Kirby (.943, 66-4, ’88-’92) … Walton (15th, 163-28; 31-7 in ’05), Kryczalo (17th, 159-12; 31-2 in ’05) and Ament (21st, 152-15; 41-3 in ’05) each have cracked the ND women’s fencing top-25 list for career wins … Kryczalo remains 3rd in career win pct. (.930), Ament 6th (.910) and Walton 16th (.853; 3rd among women’s epeeists) … Kryczalo now ranks 8th on the ND women’s foil career wins list (Walton is 7th in epee wins) … Providenza (75-14/.432, 36-8 in ’05) maintains the best career win pct. in ND women’s sabre history while Zagunis (29-1) is on pace for one of the best single-season records ever by an ND fencer.

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Senior foilist Alicja Kryczalo

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#2 Notre Dame Women vs. #1 Ohio State (ND 16, OSU 11)
WS – Eileen Grench def. Valerie Providenza, 5-2 … 0-1
WS – Mariel Zagunis def. Amelia Gaillard, 5-2 … 1-1
WF – Andrea Ament def. Alexandra DiCerbo, 5-0 … 2-1
WE – Amy Orlando def. Marguerite Plekhanov, 3-2 … 3-1
WS – Siobhan Byrne def. Angela Vincent, 5-4 … 3-2
WS – Gaillard def. Providenza, 5-2 … 3-3
WS – Grench def. Vincent, 5-3 … 3-4
WF – Alicja Kryczalo def. Hanna Thompson, 5-3 … 4-4
WS – Zagunis def. Byrne, 5-3 … 5-4
WS – Galliard def. Vincent, 5-4 … 5-5
WE – Kerry Walton def. Kaela Brendler, 4-2 … 6-5
WS – Providenza def. Byrne, 5-4 … 7-5
WF – Metta Thompson def. Melanie Bautista, 3-2, OT … 7-6
WS – Zagunis def. Grench, 5-2 … 8-6 (OSU wins sabre, 5-4)
WE – Leslie Lampman def. Rebecca Chimahusky, 4-3, OT … 8-7
WF – H. Thompson def. Ament, 5-2 … 8-8
WF – Bautista def. DiCerbo, 5-3 … 9-8
WE – Orlando def. Brendler, 4-3, OT … 10-8
WF – Kryczalo def. M. Thompson, 5-2 … 11-8
WE – Plekhanov def. Chimahusky, 4-3, OT … 11-9
WE – Walton def. Lampman, 5-3 … 12-9
WF – H. Thompson def. Bautista, 5-4 … 12-10
WE – Chimahusky def. Brendler, 2-1 … 13-10
WF – Ament def. M. Thompson, 5-2 … 14-10 (ND clinches)
WE – Orlando def. Lampman, 5-0 … 15-10
WF – Kryczalo def. DiCerbo, 5-2 … 16-10 (ND wins foil, 6-3)
WE – Plekhanov def. Natalie Bustamante, 5-4 … 16-11 (ND wins epee, 6-3)

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Sophomore epeeist Aaron Adjemian

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#4 Notre Dame Men vs. #1 Ohio State (OSU 16, ND 11) ME – Aaron Adjemian def. Ricardo Jimenez, 4-1 … 1-0
MF – Boaz Ellis def. Jakub Jedrkowiak, 5-1 … 1-1
ME – Michal Sobieraj def. Denis Tolkachev, 5-2 … 2-1
ME – Greg Howard def. George Blackburne, 5-2 … 3-1
MF – Frank Bontempo def. William Jeter, 5-4 … 4-1
ME – Tolkachev def. Adjemian, 5-3 … 4-2
MF – Diego Quinonez def. Kevin Stuart, 2-1 … 5-2
ME – Howard def. Jimenez, 3-2, OT … 6-2
ME – Sobieraj def. Blackburne, 5-2 … 7-2
MF – Jedrkowiak def. Jeter, 5-2 … 8-2
MS – Jason Paul def. Matthew Stearns, 5-1 … 8-3
MS – Adam Crompton def. Patrick Ghattas, 5-2 … 8-4
ME – Tolkachev def. Howard, 5-2 … 8-5
MF – Ellis def. Quinonez, 5-1 … 8-6
MS – Jason Rogers def. Nicholas Diacou, 5-1 … 8-7
ME – Adjemian def. Blackburne, 5-4 … 9-7
MS – Crompton def. Stearns, 5-1 … 9-8
MF – Stuart def. Bontempo, 5-2 … 9-9
MS – Paul def. Diacou, 5-0 … 9-10
ME – Sobieraj def. Jimenez, 5-2 … 10-10 (ND wins epee, 7-2)
MS – Rogers def. Ghattas, 5-1 … 10-11
MF – Jeter def. Quinonez, 5-3 … 10-12
MS – Crompton def. Diacou, 5-2 … 10-13
MS – Rogers def. Stearns, 5-2 … 10-14 (OSU clinches)
MF – Jedrkowiak def. Stuart, 5-0 … 11-14
MS – Paul def. Ghattas, 5-4 … 11-15 (OSU wins sabre, 9-0)
MF – Ellis def. Bontempo, 5-2 … 11-16 (OSU wins foil, 5-4)

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Assistant coach Zoltan Dudas gives instruction to sophomore foilist Frank Bontempo.

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MEN’S RESULTS
ROUND 6
Notre Dame def. Northwestern, 21-6
Lawrence def. Wisconsin, 13-12
Wayne State def. Michigan State, 22-5
Cal State Fullerton def. Cleveland State, 24-3
Ohio State def. Michigan, 19-8

ROUND 7
Notre Dame def. Cleveland State, 22-5
Ohio State def. Wayne State, 19-8
Michigan 22, Lawrence 5
Cal State Fullerton def. Michigan State, 24-3
Notre Dame JV def. Wisconsin, 16-11

ROUND 8
Ohio State def. Notre Dame, 16-11
Michigan def. Cleveland State, 19-8
Cal State Fullerton def. Wayne State, 14-13
Michigan State def. Detroit, 14-13
Northwestern def. Wisconsin, 23-4
Notre Dame JV def. Lawrence, 21-6

ROUND 9
Notre Dame def. Lawrence, 27-0
Northwestern def. Detroit, 20-7
Wayne State def. Wisconsin, 24-3
Ohio State def. Michigan State, 24-3
Michigan def. Chicago, 20-7
Notre Dame JV def. Cleveland State, 27-0

ROUND 10
Notre Dame def. Detroit, 24-3
Wayne State def. Lawrence, 19-8
Ohio State def. Wisconsin, 25-2
Michigan def. Notre Dame JV 18-9
Northwestern def. Chicago, 20-7

ROUND 11
Notre Dame def. Wayne State, 21-6
Detroit def. Chicago, 17-10
Ohio State def. Lawrence, 24-2

ROUND 12
Notre Dame def. Chicago, 24-3
Notre Dame JV def. Chicago, 23-4

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Freshman foilist Melanie Bautista.

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WOMEN’S RESULTS
ROUND 6
Lawrence def. Wisconsin, 14-4
Wayne State def. Michigan State, 15-12
Cal State Fullerton def. Cleveland State, 21-6
Ohio State def. Michigan, 21-6
Chicago def. Detroit, 17-10

ROUND 7
Notre Dame def. Cleveland State, 26-1
Ohio State def. Wayne State, 21-6
Michigan def. Detroit, 20-7
Cal State Fullerton def. Lawrence, 21-6
Notre Dame JV def. Michigan State, 14-13
Chicago def. Wisconsin, 25-2

ROUND 8
Notre Dame def. Ohio State, 16-11
Michigan def. Cleveland State, 20-7
Wayne State def. Cal State Fullerton, 17-10
Michigan State def. Detroit, 21-6
Northwestern def. Wisconsin, 26-1
Notre Dame JV def. Lawrence, 19-7

ROUND 9
Notre Dame def. Lawrence 25-2
Northwestern def. Detroit, 25-2
Wayne State def. Wisconsin, 25-2
Ohio State def. Michigan State, 18-9
Michigan def. Chicago, 20-7
Notre Dame JV def. Cleveland State, 21-0

ROUND 10
Notre Dame def. Detroit, 25-2
Wayne State def. Lawrence, 20-7
Ohio State def. Wisconsin. 27-0
Michigan def. Notre Dame JV, 19-8
Northwestern def. Chicago, 17-10

ROUND 11
Notre Dame def. Wayne State, 24-3
Ohio State def. Lawrence, 23-3

ROUND 12
Notre Dame def. Chicago, 26-1
Chicago def. Notre Dame JV, 15-12