March 23, 2002
Madison, N.J. (3-23-02) — Notre Dame slipped from second to third place at the four-day NCAA Combined Fencing Championships, with the six Irish men’s entrants combining on Saturday to win 51 of their 84 bouts in the third day of competition – with the team competition set to conclude on Sunday with 54 round-robin bouts per team.
Notre Dame (148 points) will attempt to use those 54 bouts to close a seven-point margin between the Irish and Penn State, which surged past St. John’s (153) to claim the day-three lead with 155 bouts won (SJU only has five entrants in the men’s field while ND and PSU have the maximum six).
The Irish were led by NCAA veterans in each of the three weapons. Senior sabre captain and New Jerset native Andre Crompton (Irvington/St. Benedict Prep) finished the day in fifth place, after winning 10 of his 14 bouts (with a total-points indicator of +31). He stands two wins behind defending NCAA champion Ivan Lee of St. Johns, Alex Weber of Penn State and Jakub Krochmalski of Wayne State (all 12-2, with respective indicators of +24, +33, and +38) while Ohio State freshman Jason Rogers holds down the top spot at 13-1 (+48).
Crompton defeated Columbia’s Paolo Roselli (the 5th-place NCAA finisher in ’01) 5-1 while losing highlight bouts vs. 2001 NCAA bronze medalist Krochmalski (5-4), Penn State All-American Mohaymen Rahimi (5-3) and Rahimi’s teammate Weber (5-2). Crompton’s junior teammate and first-time NCAA competitor Matt Fabricant (Elizabeth, N.J./St. Benedict) also lost to Penn State’s duo by the same scores, finishing the day in 17th place with a record of 5-9 (-13).
Junior captain and two-time All-American Ozren Debic finished the day in second place with an 11-3 record (+21). He stands two wins behind PSU’s Nontapat Ponchan (13-1, +39) while ranking ahead of SJU’s Jonathan Tiomkin and Penn’s Jeffrey Breen (both 10-4, +34 and +23).
Debic scored 5-4 victories over the current fifth and sixth-place Stanford teammates Mark Mulholland (10-4, +13) and Steve Gerberman(9-5, +17), with his only losses coming vs. freshman teammate Derek Snyder (5-3), PSU’s Ponchan (5-0) and Penn’s Rudu (5-4).
Snyder will head into Sunday sitting in 8th place (8-6, +9), after winning five of his final six bouts (the only loss coming to Penn’s Breen, 5-4).
The third Irish men’s captain, junior two-time All-American and New Jesry nativeJan Viviani (Haworth/North Valley Demarest) ended the day in third place with an 11-3 record (+29). Viviani stands behind 2001 NCAA champion Soren Thompson of Princeton (12-2, +38) and 2001 NCAA runner-up Adam Wiercioch of PSU (12-2, +25). Fourth-place Arpad Horvath of SJU (11-3, +21) was defeated by Viviani (5-1) in the second round of Saturday’s competition. Viviani also won key bouts over Horvath’s teammate and current sixth-place fencerer Anton Gurevich (3-2), and Stanford’s All-American Graham Allen (5-2).
Freshman Michal Sobieraj finished the day 6-8, placing him 13th overall. Sobieraj also defeated Allen (5-2) but lost tough bouts to the Red Storm duo of Horvath and Gurevich (5-4, 5-1).
Rounds 5-7, followd by the individual semifinals and finals in each weapon (which do not factor to the team scored), will be fenced Sunday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. For up-to-date information on Irish fencing, contact the Notre Dame fencing hotline by dialing 219-631-3000, and then pressing the “9” key, followed by the “1” key.