March 2, 2008
DETROIT, Mich. – With a strong performance at Sunday’s NCAA Midwest Regional, the Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams made a solid claim for a full complement of 12 fencers at the upcoming NCAA Championships. The Midwest Regional qualifier was held at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall. The Fighting Irish were led by a 1-2-3 sweep in men’s epee, silver medals in men’s and women’s foil and bronzes in men’s and women’s sabre and women’s epee.
Here are recaps of the Irish fencers’ performances on the day …
Notre Dame swept the medals and all four fencers reached the top eight.
Karol Kostka – Went 4-2 in the opening pool, including two tough 5-4 losses to Ohio State’s Jason Pryor and defending national champion Slava Zingerman of Wayne State … collected wins over teammate Seroff and Ohio State’s Sean Harder (5-3) … seeded fifth into direct elimination … advanced to finals with 15-11 win over Cleveland State’s Jeff Tormey and 15-10 win over Ohio State’s Mykhaylo Mazur … beat Ohio State’s Bishara Korkor, 15-10, in the quarterfinals before nipping Zingerman, 15-14, in the semifinal … capped off day by beating Schoolcraft, 15-8, for title.
Greg Schoolcraft – Produced a 3-3 mark in the opening pool, with losses to Mazur (5-3) and Korkor (5-4) and loss to Howard (5-2) … sixth seed into direct elimination … stormed into finals with 15-9 win over Seroff and a 15-11 win over Pryor … continued his hot hand with a 15-12 win over Pryor in the quarterfinals and a 15-10 win over Howard in the semifinal before losing to Kostka, 15-8, for the gold.
Greg Howard — Cruised to a 6-0 pool record, defeating Mazur (5-2) and Korkor (5-4) in process. … top seed in direct elimination … received first-round bye before advancing to finals with 15-14 thriller over Harder … defeated Seroff in quarterfinals, 15-8, before losing to Schoolcraft in semifinal, 15-10 … won bronze by defeating Zingerman, 15-10.
Andrew Seroff — Struggled in first-round pool with 1-5 record, but lone win was against Pryor (5-2) … seeded 11th into direct elimination … lost first bout to Schoolcarft, 15-9 … came back in repechage by defeating Wayne State’s Joe Fresard, 15-4, before advancing to finals with thrilling 15-14 win over Mazur (the fourth seed in the direct elimination), forcing Mazur to battle for ninth place … defeated by Howard, 15-8, in quarterfinal and Pryor, 15-7, before beating Korkor, 15-12, to finish seventh.
Fighting Irish take silver and bronze. All four Notre Dame fencers in top six.
Zach Schirtz – Went 5-1 in pool competition, losing only to defending national champion Andras Horanyi of Ohio State (5-1) … topped teammate Jedrkowiak, 5-2 … third seed into direct elimination … advanced to final with wins over Detroit’s Jamie Gawecki (15-5) and Jedrkowiak (15-11) … beat Jedrkowiak, 15-13, in quarterfinal and Steve Kubik, 15-12, in semifinal before losing to Horanyu 15-14 for the title.
Steve Kubik – Notched a 5-1 record in the pool, losing only to Ohio State’s Colin Sutter, 5-4 … defeated brother Mark, 5-4, and Ohio State’s Ben Parkins, 5-4 … second seed into direct elimination earned first round bye and advances to final with 15-9 win over Ohio State’s Colin Sutter … topped Sutter in quarterfinal rematch, 15-11, before losing to Schirtz, 15-12, in semifinal … downed Parkins, 15-13, for bronze.
Jakub Jedrkowiak – Went 4-2 in the pool, losing to Horanyi and Schirtz … sixth seed into direct elimination … captured wins over Detroit’s Brad Coon, 15-2, before losing to Schirtz, 15-11 … reached final with 15-4 win over Cleveland State’s Stephen Montgomery … lost quarterfinal rematch to Schirtz, 15-13 … defeated Sutter, 15-11, and Mark Kubik, 15-10, to take fifth place
Mark Kubik – Produced a 4-2 mark in pool competition … fell to brother Steve, 5-4, and Parkins, 5-3 … fifth seed into direct elimination … downed Cleveland State’s John Marshall, 15-8, before losing to Parkins, 15-7 … advanced to final with 15-4 win over Gawecki … fell to Parkins, 15-10, in quarterfinal … downed Detroit’s Craig Budzynski, 15-5, before losing to Jedrkowiak, 15-10, to finish sixth.
Bronze for Barron Nydam led three top-eight finishes for the Fighting Irish.
Barron Nydam — Went undefeated in first-round pool, including wins over Ohio State’s Mike Momtselidze and Robert Douville (5-3 and 5-1, respectively) … top seed into direct elimination … received first-round bye and advanced to final by beating Wayne State’s Jakub Gibczynski, 15-4 … beat Lawrence’s Nils Schaede, 15-8, in quarterfinal before losing to Ohio State’s Sergey Smirnov (the eventual winner) in semifinal … beat Gubczynski, 15-11, to take bronze.
Bill Thanhouser – Notched a 2-3 mark in first-round pool … seventh seed into direct elimination … advanced to final with 15-8 win over Horton and 15-7 win over Smirnov … fell to Smirnov, 15-11, in quarterfinal … defeated Schaede, 15-4, and Momtselidze, 15-13, to take fifth place.
Avery Zuck — Battled to 3-2 first-round pool finish with wins over teammate Thanouser and Gibczynski … fifth seed into direct elimination … advanced to final with 15-2 win over Detroit’s Doug Sollman and 15-13 win over Ohio State’s Dexter Wilde … lost to Wilde, 15-14, in quarterfinal … lost to Momtselidze, 15-9, before defeating Schaede, 15-8, for seventh place.
Tom Horton – Captured a 3-2 finish in play-in pool … went 1-5 in the first-round pool … fell to Thanhouser in first direct elimination bout … fell to Wilde, 15-10, in repechage … finished tenth after losing to Douville, 15-9, in fence-off.
Notre Dame has three top-eight finishes, including a bronze medal for Kelley Hurley.
Kelley Hurley — Went undefeated (5-0) in her first-round pool, including wins over Ohio State’s Leslie Lampman (5-1) and Northwestern’s Kayley French (5-2) … top seed in direct elimination … advanced to finals with wins over Lawrence’s Elize Pfaltzgraff, 15-5, and Wayne State’s Justyna Konczalska, 15-10 … defeated Lampmann, 15-8, in the quarterfinals before losing an exciting 10-9 semifinal to Ohio State’s Alexandra Obrazcova (the eventual champion) … topped teammate Nelip, 15-6, for the bronze.
Ewa Nelip — Undefeated (5-0) in her first-round pool, including wins over Northwestern’s Joanna Niklinska (5-2) and Obrazcova (5-3) … seeded second into the direct elimination … advanced to the finals with wins over Lawrence’s Chiara Terzuolo, 15-2, and Northwestern’s Megan Ross, 15-10 … defeated Konczalska in the quarterfinals, 15-8, before being edged by Northwestern’s Christa French, 15-12, in the semifinal … fell to Hurley, 15-6, and finished fourth.
Kimberlee Montoya – Posted a 4-1 record in first round pool, losing only to Christa French (5-1) … seeded fourth into the direct elimination … advanced to the final by beating Cleveland State’s Courtney Zemkosky, 15-3, and Obrazcova, 15-11 … faced Obrazcova in the quarterfinals, losing on time 14-13 … bested by Lampman, 15-10, and bounced back to defeat Niklinska, 15-13, for seventh place.
Vanessa Rosa — Seeded 19th and finished second in play-in pool to advance to the first round with solid 4-1 record … went 1-4 in first round pool … seeded 14th into direct elimination … lost first round bout to Christa French … eliminated by Ohio State’s Elyse Gurnowski, 15-7, and finished 14th.
Adrienne Nott — Opened with 4-1 record in pool, losing only to Ohio State’s Lindsay Knauer (5-3) … defeated Northwestern’s Sam Nemecek (5-0) and Meredith Baskies (5-2) … top seed into direct elimination … received first-round bye and advanced to final by beating Northwestern’s Natalie Wang, 15-6 … defeated Baskies, 15-4, in the quarterfinal and Reese, 15-7, in the semifinal … lost to Ohio State’s Oksana Dmytruk, 15-10, in the championship bout.
Hayley Reese – Went 3-3 in pool with tough 5-4 losses to Ohio State’s Julia Tikhonova and Dmytruk … claimed a win over Prot (5-2) and Wang (5-1) … seeded fourth into direct elimination … advanced to final with first-round bye and 15-11 defeat of Prot … faced Prot again in the quarterfinal and claimed a 15-9 victory, before losing to Nott in the semifinal, 15-7 … beat Nemecek, 15-13, for bronze.
Emilie Prot – Posted a 3-3 record in pool, including wins over Tikhonova (5-0) and Wang (5-4) … fifth seed in direct elimination … defeated Wayne State’s Samantha Strassburg, 15-6, before losing to Reese, 15-11 … advanced to final by beating Detroit’s Emily Rames, 15-4 … lost to Reese, 15-9, in quarterfinal … edged Baskies, 15-14, in consolation round before losing to Knauer, 15-4, in fifth-place bout.
Rachel Cota – Went 2-3 in first-round pool, with wins over Nemecek (5-4) and Detroit’s Emily Rames (5-2) … ninth seed into direct eliminatin … fell to Wang, 15-9 … received bye in first round of repechage … eliminated by Tikhonova, 15-2 … defeated Rames, 15-4, before losing to Wang, 15-7, in the fence-off for ninth place … finished 10th.
Solid performance by the Irish as all three fencers made the final of eight. Sarah Borrmann captured the bronze medal.
Sarah Borrmann — Went 6-1 in her first-round pool … topped Falencia Miller of Ohio State, 5-3, and lost to Siobhan Byrne of Ohio State (eventual gold medalist) 5-3 … seeded third into the direct elimination … advanced to the finals by beating Ashley McLemore of Detroit, 15-6, and Hassett, 15-13 … seeded third, faced Hassett again in the quarterfinal and defeated her, 15-9 … fell to Byrne in the semifinal, 15-3, before edging Karolina Budna of Wayne State, 15-14, for the bronze.
Eileen Hassett – Produced a 5-2 record in her first-round pool … lost to Budna, 5-3, and Ohio State’s Eileen Grench, 5-1 … seeded sixth in the direct elimination … defeated Roberta Sims of Detroit, 15-6, before losing to Borrmann, 15-13 … reached the final by beating Northwestern’s White, 15-6 … seeded sixth … faced Borrmann again in the quarterfinals, losing 15-9 … defeated Wayne State’s Ann Bartoszewicz, 15-7, and Miller, 15-13, to finish fifth.
Ashley Serrette – Went 3-4 in first-round pool, losing to Budna, Grench, Hassett (5-3) along with Allison Keller of Northwestern (5-3) … seeded ninth in the direct elimination … fell to Bartoszewicz, 15-10, in the opening bout of the direct elimination and entered the repechage … defeated Cleveland State’s Katie Smetana, 15-6, and beat Keller, 15-8, to advance to the final … seeded eighth in the final … lost to Grench in a heartbreaking 15-14 quarterfinal bout … fell to Miller, 15-11, before rebounding against Bartoszewicz, 15-9, to finish seventh.
The official announcement of the field for the 2008 NCAA Fencing Championships will be made on Tuesday, March 4 by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee. The 2008 NCAA Championships will be held March 13-16 in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, log onto ncaasports.com.
— ND —