March 2, 2003
The University of Notre Dame captured two (of a possible six) individual weapon championships on Sunday at the Midwest Fencing Conference (MFC) Championships. The second day of competition saw the Irish capture titles in both men’s and women’s foil.
Senior all-American foil captain Ozren Debic (Zagreb, Croatia) captured his fourth consecutive MFC championship, a feat never accomplished by a Notre Dame fencer. Debic emerged victorious over classmate and all-American Forest Walton (Londonderry, N.H.) in the semifinals. Debic then defeated teammate and fellow All-American sophomore Derek Snyder (Chatsworth, Calif.) in the finals (15-3). Notre Dame fencers rounded out the foil field with an impressive showing from junior Matt Castellan (Short Hills, N.J.), who finished tied for fifth place after losing to Debic in the quarterfinals.
2002 NCAA champion Alicja Kryczalo (Gdansk, Poland) repeated as champion. Last year, she became the first women’s fencer to win a Midwest championship as a freshman since Molly Sullivan in 1985. Kryczalo is only the second women’s fencer to win two individual championships (also shared with Sullivan). Kryczalo defeated teammate and senior all-America foil captain Liza Boutsikaris (Sparta, N.J.) in the round of eight (15-4). She advanced to edge Wayne State all-American Inga Wallrabenstein before defeating classmate and 2002 NCAA runner-up Andrea Ament (Gates Mill, Ohio) by a score of 15-9.
Senior all-American men’s epee captain Jan Viviani (Haworth, N.J.) fell to Wayne State all-American Wojciech Dudek in the finals (12-11) after winning the 2002 MFC championship. Viviani edged past Ohio State’s Brian Gross (15-13) in the semifinals. Gross defeated Irish junior Nick Schumacher (New Berlin, Wis.) in the quarterfinals (15-2). Schumacher finished sixth in the tournament. Irish junior North Carey (Los Alamos, N.M.) also advanced to the quarterfinals only to lose to Dudek (15-11) before finishing eighth.
Notre Dame’s 2002 NCAA champion Kerry Walton (Jr., Londonderry, N.H.) fell short of repeating as the Midwest champ, as she lost to Wayne State’s Anna Vinnikov (15-10) in the finals of women’s epee. Vinnikov defeated Irish all-American Meagan Call (Eugene, Ore.) in the semifinals by a margin of 15-6 in the quarterfinals. Vinnikov also edged Notre Dame’s all-American epee captain Anna Carnick (Mishawaka, Ind.) in the quarterfinals (15-14).
Irish senior and 2002 NCAA participant Matt Fabricant (Elizabeth, N.J) tied for third place following a quarterfinal loss (15-14) to the eventual champion in Ohio State all-American Jason Rogers. Directly behind Fabricant was Irish junior Brian Dosal (Miami, Fla.), who finished in fifth place.
The women’s sabre quarterfinals saw Irish junior captain and NCAA participant Destanie Milo (Knox, Ind.) fall to the eventual champion, Ohio State’s NCAA runner-up Louise Bond-Williams.
The Irish return to action when they travel to the Midwest Regional Championship in Columbus, Ohio (March 8-9). This competition will determine regional qualifiers from the Midwest. They will then advance to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the 2003 NCAAs (March 20-23).