Nov. 23, 2014
COLLEGE STATION, Pa. – The University of Notre Dame men’s fencing team had a long day Sunday, battling through the Penn State Open at the White Building. Despite losing 10 starters to World Cup competitions, the Irish posted six top-10 finishes in the men’s competition, adding three medals to the three women’s medals earned Saturday.
“Overall, it was an incredibly dynamic performance by our athletes. Despite missing starters due to World Cup travel, our team still posted some of the best results over the weekend,” associate head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia states. “John Hallsten had a very close bout with the defending NCAA champion Kaito Streets; in foil, Ariel [DeSmet] had a tremendous showing and Virgile [Collineau] – he just continues to amaze us.”
Fighting with just three sabreists, Hallsten advanced into the direct elimination rounds with the No. 2 seed. He ousted David Akrami 15-8 in the round of 16 before facing Streets in the round of eight. Streets pulled the upset, advancing with a 15-10 score. Hallsten finished the day fifth, while Paul Cepak placed 23rd and Ian Dwyer finished in 24th place.
In foil the Irish logged three top-10 finishes. DeSmet and John Crumpler faced each other in the round of 16, with DeSmet winning handily, 15-1. Crumpler placed 10th, but DeSmet went on to win against John Vaiani – again posting a lopsided, 15-3 score.
Other qualifiers for the direct elimination rounds were Spicer Emge (placed 13th) and Collineau. Emge lost to eventual gold medalist David Gomez Tanamachi, 15-7, yet Collineau continued his silent yet deadly approach, advancing into the final bout against Gomez Tanamachi with wins over Brian Wang (15-6), Barrett Weiss (15-10) and Jason Chang, 15-6. The title bout see-sawed between the two foilists, with Gomez Tanamachi emerging victorious, 15-12.
In the longest weapon class of the day, men’s epee, Garrett McGrath and Nicholas Hanahan both advanced into the round of eight. McGrath lost to Marc-Antoin Blais, 15-13 to place eighth, while Hanahan – who advanced with a 15-10 win against Irish teammate Conrad Sutter – was out-dueled by Julian Raul, 8-7 as time expired. Hanahan placed seventh while Sutter finished 11th. Other Irish epeeists in competition Sunday included John Poremski, Arthur Le Meur and Christian Aguilar, who placed 21st, 33rd and 35th respectively.
The Irish now have a break through the holiday season, with NCAA competition resuming in January.
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