Jan. 24, 2015
QUEENS, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame fencing program earned mixed results at the St. John’s Invitational Saturday, as the No. 1 ranked women’s team posted a 4-1 record while their male counterparts went 1-4 on the day. The Irish faced Ohio State, Penn State, Harvard, St. John’s and Columbia in that order.
“Our kids prepared very well in the run-up to this weekend’s competitions,” Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia says. “We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles in the season so far, and everyone we faced today is a legitimate contender for the NCAA title. All we can do now is learn from today’s bouts, in anticipation of tomorrow’s matchups.
“We need to find a way to change our men’s performance tomorrow, in order to have a better outcome,” Kvaratskhelia continues. “To some degree, the swings in momentum and emotion are expected, as we have a large number of freshmen making their debut to collegiate fencing – we as coaches must use this as a teaching tool, to better our consistency.”
In the first round against the Buckeyes, Notre Dame’s women’s team won 16-11, with the sabre and foil squads posting matching 5-4 records and the epee rotation winning 6-3. In the second round against Penn State, the sabre squad won 5-4 and the foil team dominated, 7-2, yet the Nittany Lions made up ground with a close, 5-4 win in epee.
In round three, the Irish bested Ivy League foe Harvard 15-12 (sabre lost 3-6, foil won, 6-3, epee won, 6-3) and beat host St. John’s 19-8 in the fourth round (sabre won, 8-1, foil won, 6-3, epee won, 5-4). The Irish lost steam in the late afternoon however, losing 11-7 in their final match of the day against Columbia. Since the Lions did not have a sabre squad, only foil and epee fought, with both Irish squads losing 6-3 (foil) and 5-4 (epee).
On the men’s team, the Irish lost rounds one through three before regrouping to win against St. John’s, 15-12 in the fourth round. They couldn’t keep the momentum going though, and suffered a 16-11 loss to Columbia.
The Irish are next in action tomorrow, as they travel to the Cobra Fencing Club in Jersey City, N.J. for the NYU Duals. Stay tuned to the team’s Twitter account, @NDFencing, for periodic updates throughout the day.
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