Senior epeeist Garrett McGrath will be among seven Irish seniors honored during a Senior Day recognition on Saturday as the Irish host the DeCicco Duals this weekend.

Keys To The Tournament: Penn State Open

Nov. 6, 2015

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame fencing program will get its final major warm-up before collegiate competition begins in earnest when the majority of the Fighting Irish travel to State College, Pennsylvania, for this weekend’s Penn State Open.

WHAT: Penn State Open
WHO: Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State, Johns Hopkins, Penn, Harvard, Temple, Brown, Yale
WHERE: White Building – State College, Pa.
WHEN: Nov. 7-8, 2015

A Final Warm-Up
The Penn State Open will serve as one last major primer before the the collegiate fencing season begins with the Elite Invitational at Penn on November 21. This weekend, fencers will compete individually, with two or three rounds of pool play (depending on the number of entrants) followed by a sixteen-person elimination bracket. The women will compete on Saturday, followed by the men’s competition on Sunday.

Irish Schedule of Competition
All Times ET
8:30 a.m. — Women’s Epee
8:30 a.m. — Women’s Foil
11 a.m. — Women’s Sabre
8:30 a.m. — Men’s Epee
8:30 a.m. — Men’s Foil
11 a.m. — Men’s Sabre

Early Opportunity
The Penn State Open will give the Irish coaching staff a chance to see most of the roster in action and make final assessments as to who might be difference-makers throughout the season. Though many of the top Irish fencers will not be in action, the rest of the Irish roster will get a final chance to showcase their talents in hopes of either cementing a starting spot or breaking into the rotation.

Who To Watch For
A handful of top Irish fencers will be in action this weekend, including men’s foilists Kristjan Archer (20-8 in 2015) and Virgile Collineau (26-12) and epee specialist Garrett McGrath (48-20). For the women, Catherine Lee (48-17) will compete in epee, while Nicole McKee (39-24) will compete in foil.

Freshman Debuts
Though most of the freshman class will sit this weekend in preparation for next week’s Junior North American Cup event in Kansas City, Missouri, a trio of freshman will don an Irish mask for the first time. Men’s foilist Michael Antipas, sabre competitor David Brown and epee specialist Cole Mallette will each make their debuts as Notre Dame student-athletes on Sunday.

To keep up with Irish fencing, visit, follow @NDFencing on Twitter and like Notre Dame Fencing on Facebook.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.