Feb. 21, 2015
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – In the first men’s fencing ACC Championship held since 1980, the University of Notre Dame men’s fencing program exerted sheer dominance over a new conference, winning first the team and then each individual title at the 2015 ACC Fencing Conference Championships Saturday.
The Championships, the first held since 1980, proved to be a cakewalk for the Irish, as they steam-rolled the competition Saturday morning in the team event before taking center stage in the individual weapons class title bouts in the afternoon.
Facing Boston College in the first round in the team event, the Irish handily defeated the Eagles 23-4 before moving on to best the hosting Tar Heels, 18-9, in the second round. In the third and final round, Notre Dame squared off with Duke – also sporting a 2-0 record – for the title. The Irish traded points early, but ended up pulling away to defeat the Blue Devils, 17-10, and post a perfect 3-0 record on the day in the process.
In the afternoon events, Notre Dame displayed much of the same tenacity and strength of character in the individual weapons competition classes as well. In the foil weapons group, sophomore Virgile Collineau won, followed closely by captain Ariel DeSmet and Duke’s Jan Maceczek. Hazem Khazbak came in fourth.
Amongst the Irish foilists, Collineau had the best pool record for the Irish with his 12-1, +42 mark. He beat Maceczek 15-6 in the semifinal bout before besting teammate DeSmet 15-14 in the title bout. DeSmet went 11-2 with a +42 indicator for his part in pool play and beat yet another teammate, Khazbak, 15-9 in their semifinal match. Khazbak, himself with an 11-2, +31 indicator after the pool play rounds, finished in fourth after a 15-11 loss to Maceczek in a fence-off for third place.
Moving to the epee strips, two-time NCAA participant Garrett McGrath won the men’s epee title for the Irish, followed closely by John Poremski (sixth) and Mitchell Revitch (eighth). Nicholas Hanahan finished in 11th. McGrath, 12-3 after pool play with a +24 indicator, beat Matthew Shlimak from host North Carolina 15-8 in the semifinals before out-touching Boston College’s Ethan Grab 15-8 in the title bout.
In sabre, a pair of talented freshmen stood out for the Irish, as Jonathan Fitzerald defeated Johan Shainberg to win the men’s sabre competition. Fitzgerald, 14-1 in pool play with a +32 indicator, beat squad captain John Hallsten 15-14 in the semifinals before out-scoring Shainberg to clinch the title. Shainberg, for his part, finished pool play with a 12-3 record and went on to beat Di Tella 15-9 in his semifinal bout. Hallsten, with a 12-3, +28 indicator after the pools, lost 15-14 to Fitzzgerald and was bested by Di Tella 15-11,to settle for fourth place.
The Irish continue the ACC Fencing action tomorrow, with the women’s team competition and then individual events. Stay tuned to Twitter handles @ACCFencing and @NDFencing for results throughout the day.
Media Services Coordinator