Jan. 21, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fencing fans at the Joyce Center already had been treated to one 14-13 thriller this weekend but there was a bonus nailbiter waiting on Sunday afternoon as well, as the 2nd-ranked Ohio State men’s team won a back-and-forth match with 5th-ranked Notre Dame to highlight the second and final day of the Notre Dame Duals. The Irish men won their other eight matches – most notably a 19-8 decision over 8th-ranked Stanford – with the sophomore trio of Bill Thanhouser (25-2, in sabre), Jakub Jedrkowiak (20-2, in foil) and Karol Kostka (18-6, in epee) leading the way on a strong all-around day for a Notre Dame men’s team that was competing without its top fencer, senior sabreist Patrick Ghattas (who is competing in Turkey at a World Cup event).
(Note: a link to PDF stats for the Notre Dame fencers will be added later to this release.)
Junior foilist Jakub “Kuba” Jedrkowiak had several noteworthy wins as part of his 20-2 record at the 2007 Notre Dame Duals (photo by Pete LaFleur).
Saturday’s action had seen the 4th-ranked Notre Dame women edge 6th-ranked OSU by the same 14-13 score, with that match clinched on the second-to-last bout. Sunday featured just a bit more drama, as the Irish and Buckeyes traded hot streaks before the visitors took the win with a victory in the 27th and final bout. The pair of one-point decisions versus the same opponent is a rarity in recent Notre Dame fencing history and adds yet another layer to the spirited rivalry with OSU.
Notre Dame’s other top wins on Sunday came over Wayne State (19-8) and UC San Diego (17-10), with the Irish also adding 21-6 wins over Detroit and Cleveland State, a pair of 23-4 victories over Cal State Fullerton and Lawrence, and a 25-2 win over Northwestern. (Note: there are no standings or tournament champions in a dual-meet competition; rather, each team just adds to its season won-loss record.)
The Notre Dame men’s fencers combined to win nearly 75 percent of their bouts on Sunday (181-62; .745) led by the aforementioned high victory totals from Thanhouser, Jedrkowiak and Kostka and four others who totaled 15-plus wins: Howard (18-5), Adjemian (17-4), Bontempo (15-6) and Kubik (15-4). All three of the Notre Dame weapons units combined to win 59-62 bouts, led by the epeeists (62-19; .765), plus 60-21 in foil (.741) and 59-22 in sabre (.728).
Junior epeeist Greg Howard was one of three Notre Dame epeeists who all went 2-1 in the battle with Ohio State (photo by Matt Cashore).
Notre Dame and Ohio State each posted 6-3 margins in one of the weapons (ND in epee, OSU in sabre) while OSU’s narrow advantage in foil (5-4) helped produce the one-point victory. All three of Notre Dame’s top epeeists – Kostka, senior Aaron Adjemian and junior Greg Howard – went 2-1 versus the Buckeyes, as did Jedrkowiak, Thanhouser and sophomore foilist Mark Kubik. Noteworthy sabre wins for the Irish in the Ohio State match included senior Matt Stearns (5-3) and Thanhouser (5-4) topping All-American Jason Paul while foilists Jedrkowiak (5-4) and Kubik (5-1) each registered victories over OSU’s emerging force Dmitri Kirk-Gordon. On the epee strip, Kostka (5-2) and Howard (5-4) each turned in wins over All-American Christian Rivera and Adjemian handed 2006 NCAA participant Jason Pryor his only loss of the match (5-2).
The back-and-forth match with Ohio State saw Notre Dame actually jump out to a 5-2 lead, thanks to key wins by Stearns over Paul (5-3), Kubik over 2005 NCAA participant Will Jeter (5-2) and Thanhouser over Paul (5-4, after facing 2-4 deficit). The visitors then responded in a big way, winning eight of the next nine bouts to suddenly claim a 10-6 lead. Key bouts in that stretch included: Rivera edging Adjemian (5-4); foilist Andras Horanyi – the 2006 NCAA runner-up – coming from behind to defeat senior Frank Bontempo (5-3) and adding a win by the same score over Kubik; Mike Momstelidze (a 2006 NCAA qualifier) topping Stearns and Thanhouser (both 5-3); and 24-year-old freshman Sergey Smirnov (a native of Kazachstan) turning in a 5-3 win over Stearns.
Jedrkowiak’s 5-4 win over Kirk-Gordon was Notre Dame’s only victory in the middle portion of the match (when OSU went ahead 10-6) and the Irish still faced a 9-12 deficit, as wins by Jedrkowiak over Jeter (5-1) and Adjemian over Pryor (5-2) were countered by 5-1 victories from Kirk-Gordon (over Bontempo) and Horanyi (over Jedrkowiak). The hosts then stepped by winning four straight bouts to claim the 13-12 lead – with Kostka topping Rivera (5-2), Kubik beating Kirk-Gordon (5-1) and Adjemian defeating newcomer Mykhaylo Mazur (a 22-year-old Ukranian freshman) in a 5-3 bout before Howard outlasted Rivera (5-4) to give the Irish two shots at the clinching win.
The epee strip produced the 27th and deciding bout on Sunday’s ND-OSU matchup (photo by Pete LaFleur).
An overly animated Jeter kept the Buckeyes alive with his 5-2 win over Bontempo and the crowd quickly shifted to the epee strip for the decisive 27th bout. Pryor – who lost to Kostka at the 2006 NCAAs (2-5) – avenged that loss on Sunday by jumping out to an early cushion before winning a 5-4 bout that ended on a double-touch.
Just 22 months ago, Notre Dame and Ohio State waged a classic four-day battle in Houston to determine the 2005 NCAA combined team champion, with the Irish rallying from a 24-point deficit to post the 173-171 win. Of the 22 ND fencers who traded blows in that ND-OSU showdown (11 from each team), only eight were in action this weekend – as the rivalry begins to pass on to a fresh group of faces. Holdovers from that 2005 NCAA group who were in action this weekend include three from the Notre Dame men’s team (Stearns, Adjemian and Jedrkowiak), two from the OSU men’s side (Rivera and Jeter), a couple of Irish women’s fencers (sabreist Valerie Providenza and epeeist Amy Orlando) and OSU women’s sabreist Siobhan Byrne. The 2008 season is set to feature just three ND/OSU holdovers from the 2005 NCAAs: Jedrkowiak, Jeter and Byrne (OSU epeeist Kaela Brendler also could return for a fifth year).
The day opened with a noteworthy epee matchup versus Wayne State, with the Warriors top two entrants pulling off a sweep of their Notre Dame counterparts. WSU senior and two-time All-American Marek Petraszek (the ’05 NCAA runner-up) slipped by Howard (5-4) while posting 5-1 wins over Adjemian and Kostka. Wayne State newcomer Slave Zingerman – one of several Israeli imports who are making their collegiate fencing debut at the ND Duals – followed suit with three wins, all by 5-2 scores (also Kosta, Howard and Adjemian).
Sophomore Mark Kubik’s 15-4 record included several bouts versus other top foilists (photo by Pete LaFleur).
Notre Dame faced three fencers from Stanford (one in each weapon) who had competed in the 2006 NCAAs and the Irish went 2-1 in each of those matchups. Thanhouser notched a 5-3 win over All-American Teddy Levitt (his teammate on the 2006 U.S. Junior National Team) and senior Ryan Bradley added an upset win by the same score over Levitt. Adjemian (5-4) and Howard (5-3) added wins over epeeist Clayton Kenney (who edged Kostka, 5-4) while Kubik won another defensive battle with foilist Richard Fulton (4-3), who also lost to Jedrkowiak (5-3) but beat Bontempo (2-5).
Notre Dame also faced three fencers from UC San Diego who have past NCAA Tournament experience. The Irish foilists took 5-of-6 bouts from UCSD’s Cameron Sprowles and John Chung, with Jedrkowiak and Bontempo each beating both by 5-2 scores (Kubik added a 5-3 win over Chung but lost a 3-4 defensive battle to Sprowles). Thanhouser also had a noteworthy win in the UCSD match, defeating Jason Runyon in a 5-1 bout (Stearns lost to the older Runyon brother, 4-5), and added a 5-3 win over Detroit All-American Jarislaw Jelinek (who beat Stearns, 5-4).
Bontempo’s 15 wins moved him into the 29th spot on the Notre Dame list of all-time men’s fencing regular-season victories (134-57) while Stearns now is 42nd on that list (121-32). Adjemian (107-38; 56th) and Jedrkowiak (107-38; 56th) became the 64th and 65th Notre Dame men’s fencers ever to reach 100 career wins, with Howard also nearing that milestone (98-22). Bontempo now is three wins shy of cracking the Irish top-10 list for career men’s foil victories.
Matt Stearns pushed his career victory total to 121 after going 12-4 in Sunday’s action (photo by Matt Cashore).
#5 Notre Dame men vs. #2 Ohio State (OSU 14, ND 13)
MS – Bill Thanhouser def. Sergey Smirnov, 5-3 … ND leads OSU 1-0
MS – Matt Stearns def. Jason Paul, 5-3 … 2-0
ME – Jason Pryor def. Greg Howard, 5-4 … 2-1
MS – Mike Momstelidze def. Ryan Bradley, 5-3 … 2-2
MF – Mark Kubik def. Will Jeter, 5-2 … 3-2
MS – Bill Thanhouser def. Jason Paul, 5-4 … 4-2 (Thanhouser scores last two points)
ME – Karol Kostka def. Mykhaylo Mazur, 5-3 … 5-2
MS – Smirnov def. Bradley, 5-3 … 5-3
ME – Christian Rivera def. Aaron Adjemian, 5-2 … 5-4
MF – Andras Horanyi def. Frank Bontempo, 5-3 … 5-5
MS – Momstelidze def. Stearns, 5-3 … 5-6
MS – Paul def. Tom Horton, 5-2 … 5-7
MF – Jakub Jedrkowiak def. Dmitri Kirk-Gordon, 5-4 … 6-7
MS – Momstelidze def. Thanhouser, 5-3 … 6-8
MS – Smirnov def. Stearns, 5-3 … 6-9 (OSU wins sabre, 6-3)
MF – Horanyi def. Kubik, 5-3 … 6-10
ME – Howard def. Mazur, 5-3 … 7-10
MF – Jedrkowiak def. Jeter, 5-1 … 8-10
ME – Adjemian def. Pryor, 5-2 … 9-10
MF – Kirk-Gordon def. Bontempo, 5-1 … 9-11
MF – Horanyi def. Jedrkowiak, 5-1 … 9-12
ME – Kostka def. Rivera, 5-2 … 10-12
MF – Kubik def. Kirk-Gordon, 5-1 … 11-12
ME – Adjemian def. Mazur, 5-3 … 12-12
ME – Howard def. Rivera, 5-4 … 13-12 (bout was tied 4-4 with :17 left)
MF – Jeter def. Bontempo, 5-2 … 13-13 (OSU wins foil, 5-4)
ME – Pryor def. Kostka, 5-4 … 13-14 (ND wins epee, 6-3)
Karol Kostka (photo by Pete LaFleur)
Notre Dame 2007 Collegiate Fencing Duals
Men’s Bouts (Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007; Joyce Center Fieldhouse)
#2-ranked Ohio State – 9-0
#4-ranked Notre Dame – 8-1
#8-ranked Stanford – 6-2
Cleveland State – 5-4
UC San Diego – 4-3
Detroit – 4-5
Wayne State – 3-6
Northwestern – 1-6
Cal State Fullerton – 0-5
Lawrence – 0-8
Notre Dame def. Cal State Fullerton, 23-4
Stanford def. Wayne State, 19-8
Cleveland State def. Lawrence, 21-6
Detroit def. Northwestern, 17-10
Ohio State def. UC San Diego, 23-4
Notre Dame def. Wayne State, 19-8
Ohio State def. Cal State Fullerton, 27-0
Stanford def. Lawrence, 25-2
UC San Diego def. Detroit, 22-5
Cleveland State def. Northwestern, 17-10
Frank Bontempo (photo by Pete LaFleur)
Notre Dame def. Lawrence, 23-4
Ohio State def. Detroit, 26-1
UC San Diego def. Cleveland State, 16-11
Wayne State def. Cal State Fullerton, 17-10
Stanford def. Northwestern, 23-4
Notre Dame def. Northwestern, 25-2
Wayne State def. Lawrence, 15-12
Detroit def. Cal State Fullerton, 15-12
Stanford def. UC San Diego, 16-11
Ohio State def. Cleveland State, 25-2
Ohio State def. Notre Dame, 14-13
UC San Diego def. Wayne State, 17-10
Northwestern def. Lawrence, 16-11
Stanford def. Detroit, 19-8
Cleveland State def. Cal State Fullerton, 16-11
Notre Dame def. UC San Diego, 17-10
Wayne State def. Northwestern, 15-12
Ohio State def. Stanford, 20-7
Cleveland State def. Detroit, 20-7
Aaron Adjemian (photo by Pete LaFleur)
Notre Dame def. Detroit, 21-6
UC San Diego def. Lawrence, 25-2
Ohio State def. Wayne State, 19-8
Stanford def. Cleveland State, 19-8
Notre Dame def. Cleveland State, 21-6
Ohio State def. Lawrence, 27-0
Detroit def. Wayne State, 15-12
Notre Dame def. Stanford, 19-8
Ohio State def. Northwestern, 24-3
Detroit def. Lawrence, 18-9
Cleveland State def. Wayne State, 15-12