Jan. 29, 2000
The Notre Dame men’s fencing team won six dual matches in a home meet at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse on Saturday, including a 16-11 win over five-time defending NCAA champion Penn State. The Irish beat Duke 22-5, Air Force 20-7, Florida 21-6, Ohio State 22-5 and Cleveland State 24-3 in addition to their win over the Nittany Lions. Notre Dame snapped a string of four straight losses to Penn State after falling 14-13 in 1999, 17-10 in 1998, 16-11 in 1997 and 18-9 in 1996. The Irish won three matches against the Lions in the 1980s before the string of losses. The women’s portion of the meet will be held on Sunday beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse.
Freshman foilist Ozren Debic led Notre Dame with a 14-0 record on the day. Sophomore All-American sabreman Gabor Szelle had a 12-1 record, while freshman epeeist Jan Viviani went 10-1. All three posted 3-0 records against Penn State. Junior Al-American sabreman Andrzej Bednarski added 10 wins against one loss, while freshman foilist Forest Walton chipped in seven wins.
Against Penn State in the third match of the day for both teams, the Irish sabre team of Szelle, Bednarski and sophomore Andre Crompton jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead, losing just 12 touches in those six wins. After Penn State won two bouts, Szelle closed it with a 5-4 win over All-American Aaron Steuwe, who was 0-3 against the Irish.
The Notre Dame men’s foil team rallied from 1-3 and 3-4 deficits to beat Penn State 5-4 and provided the clinching bout. With the Lions leading 4-3, Walton rallied from 3-4 down in his bout against Donald McGill to win 5-4 for Notre Dame’s 14th win and clinching win over Penn State. Debic then clinched the foil team’s 5-4 with a 5-1 victory over John Charles. Despite Viviani’s 3-0 performance in men’s epee Penn State’s men’s epee team won 5-4.