Feb. 26, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
The 2009 Midwest Fencing Conference Championships will take place this Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1 inside the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus. Saturday will feature the individual weapon competitions, while Sunday will feature the team championships. Fencing will begin at 8:00 a.m. (ET) on both days.
The event begins at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday as pool play for men’s epee, men’s foil and women’s sabre gets underway, followed by men’s sabre, women’s epee and women’s epee pool play. Direct elimination is expected to begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday’s action also begins at 8:00 a.m. as the team tournaments for men’s epee, men’s foil and men’s sabre are scheduled to start first. The women’s team tournaments are expected to get underway at 12:30 p.m.
The Notre Dame men and women enter this year’s event as the top-ranked teams in the latest USFCA Coaches’ poll, which was released on February 19. The men posted a 33-0 regular season mark on their way to garnering out-right number-one honors. The women’s team was previously ranked second overall, but posted a 32-2 regular season record including a 19-8 defeat of Penn State on January 31 at the Northwestern Duals, en route to earning the number one ranking.
Other ranked teams participating this weekend include Ohio State and Northwestern. The Buckeyes are ranked third in both the men’s and women’s polls, while the Northwestern women’s squad is ranked seventh. In addition, Wayne State’s men and women are receiving votes.
2009 marks the 11th year of the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships. Last season, Ohio State took the men’s and women’s team Championships, earning the combined Championship with 1,325 points. The Notre Dame men and women finished second with 1,255 combined points. Northwestern finished third with 1,075 points. The University of Michigan finished in fourth, earning the Schiller Award, which is given to the highest finishing club team.
The men’s top individual finishers in 2008 included Slava Zingerman of Wayne State (epee), Andras Horanyi of Ohio State (foil) and Ohio State’s Mikhail Momtselidze (sabre). The women’s top individual finishers were Notre Dame’s Ewa Nelip (epee), Oksana Dmytruk (foil) of Ohio State and OSU’s Siobahn Bryne (sabre). With the exception of Bryne, the other five first-place finishers are on their respective team’s active rosters and could return to defend their titles in 2009.
On the men’s side, the top four finishers from each weapon also return this year, including Karol Kostka (epee/t-3rd 2008), Mark Kubik (foil/2nd 2008), Steve Kubik (foil/t-3rd 2008), Barron Nydam (sabre/t-3rd 2008) and Bill Thanhouser (sabre/t-3rd 2008) of Notre Dame. The women’s field features nine of last year’s top-12 finishers, including the top four foilists. Joining Nelip as Notre Dame returnees who finished tied for third or better at last year’s MFC Championships are Hayley Reese (foil/t-3rd 2008), Sarah Borrmann (sabre/t-3rd 2008) and Eileen Hassett (sabre/t-3rd 2008).
After the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships, the Irish will travel to the NCAA Midwest Regional Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. The Regional will be hosted by Ohio State on March 7-8. The event is one of the qualifiers for the NCAA championships. Up to two fencers from each weapon and 12 total fencers for each team are allowed to participate at the NCAA Championships.The 2009 NCAA Championships will take place on March 22-25, in State College, Pa.
2009 MFC Championships Schedule
Saturday, February 28 – Individual Championships*8:00 a.m. – Pools for men’s epee, men’s foil, women’s sabre10:15 a.m. – Pools for men’s sabre, women’s epee and women’s foil12:30 p.m. – Direct Elimination for men’s epee, men’s foil, women’s sabre2:30 p.m. – Direct Elimination for men’s foil, women’s epee, women’s sabre
Sunday, March 1 – Team Championships^8:00 a.m. – Team tournaments for men’s epee, men’s foil, men’s sabre12:30 p.m. – Team Tournaments for women’s epee, women’s foil and women’s sabre
* – Times (aside from 8:00 a.m. starts) subject to change# – Seedings finalized based on Saturday’s results
— ND —