Jan. 29, 2006

The second-ranked Notre Dame men’s fencing team followed the lead of the top-ranked women by storming its way through Sunday’s second and final day of the Notre Dame Duals. The Irish men lost just 30 total bouts (while winning 185) en route to an 8-0 day, extending their season record to 18-1. The highlight bouts came late in the day versus Wayne State, as sophomore Greg Howard and freshman Karol Kostka both posted wins over defending NCAA runner-up Marek Petraszek.

Note: check back to this release for several photo from Sunday’s bouts.

The Notre Dame women – who won all seven of their matches on Saturday – returned to face one opponent on Sunday, as Duke joined the competition after fencing the day before at Penn State. The Irish women won all three weapons en route to a 19-8 victory over the Blue Devils, matching the men with an 18-1 overall mark in 2005-06.

The pair of wins over Petraszek highlighted the 22-5 win over Wayne State, with the Irish men also picking up a noteworthy victory over Duke (22-5) to go along with comfortable wins over Cleveland State and Detroit (both 23-4), Lawrence (21-6), Chicago (24-3) and Oberlin (27-0).

The Notre Dame women’s sabre team entered Sunday having lost just once all season and that talented group extended its own season record to 18-1, after fighting off their pesky foes from Duke. Sophomore Mariel Zagunis continued her assault on college fencing by winning her three bouts vs. Duke (she now is 40-1 this season and 69-2 in regular-season bouts during her career with the Irish) – but it was freshman Ashley Serrette who saved the day in the women’s sabre bouts. Serrette scored a 5-4 win over All-American Itihaj Muhammad and added a 5-3 victory over Annie Massert, as the Irish escaped with the 5-4 win.

Other bouts of note on Sunday included wins for junior epeeist Amy Orlando (5-1) and freshman Kim Montoya (5-4) vs. Duke All-American Anne Kercsmar. In men’s foil, junior Frank Bontempo (5-1) and sophomore Jakub Jedrkowiak (5-2) both posted wins over 2005 NCAA participant Jackson McClam. Junior sabre standouts Patrick Ghattas (5-1) and Matt Stearns (5-0) added their owns wins over another ’05 NCAA Tournament ferncer, Detroit’s Jaroslaw Jelinek.

In other news on Sunday, Notre Dame freshman Bill Thanhouser reinforced his status as the top-ranked under-21 men’s sabre fencer in the United States by claiming a third-place finish at the Junior World cup event being held in Spain.

Sunday’s action allowed the Irish men to showcase the depth of their rosters, as several of the top fencers rested. All told, eight different Notre Dame fencers posted double-digit wins, including four in epee: juniors Patrick Gettings (15-1), Jesse Laeuchli (14-1) and Aaron Adjemian (10-1) and the freshman Kostka (10-1), whose biggest win came vs. fellow Poland native Petraszek (5-3). Howard – a sophomore and local product, from Granger – also beat Petraszek by the same score as part of his 9-0 day.

Jedrkowiak (10-1) and freshman Mark Kubik (12-2) led the way from the foil strip while Ghattas racked up an 18-0 mark in sabre. With Stearns (4-2) fencing a lighter schedule, senior Nicholas Diacou stepped in to post a 12-3 record.

Kostka (34-7), Howard (30-6) and Adjemian each have reached 30-plus wins for the season and are shaping up a solid top-three in men’s epee. Kubkik (35-12) has provided a boost to the foil squad while Ghattas has continued his impressive career with a 39-5 mark in ’05-’06 (he has 116 career wins, with Stearns now one away from that milestone).

On the women’s side, fifth-year epeeist Becca Chimahusky (11-2 at ND Duals) now is 28-9 for the season and 123-52 for her career. Orlando has moved into 10th place on the ND list for career women’s epee wins (116-35), with her 31-12 mark this season including 12-3 at the ND Duals.

The freshmen have made a big mark on the Notre Dame women’s team in 2005-06, led by the likes of Montoya (26-5) and Madeleine Stephan (30-13) in epee, foilists Adrienne Nott (40-6) and Emilie Prot (39-6), and Serrette in sabre (34-17).

Check to und.com later this week for more photos from t he 2006 Notre Dame Duals.

Notre Dame def. Oberlin, 27-0
Ohio State def. Lawrence, 23-4
Wayne State def. Cleveland State, 24-3
Northwestern def. Chicago, 23-4

Notre Dame def. Detroit Mercy, 24-3
Ohio State def. Oberlin, 26-1
Cleveland State def. Lawrence, 15-12
Wayne State def. Chicago, 22-5

Notre Dame def. Duke, 22-5
Notre Dame (W) def. Duke (W), 19-8
Ohio State def. Detroit Mercy, 26-1
Cleveland State def. Oberlin, 24-3
Lawrence def. Chicago, 16-11

Duke def. Wayne State, 20-7
Duke (W) def. Wayne State (W), 15-12
Lawrence def. Northwestern, 14-13
Cleveland State def. Detroit Mercy, 14-13
Chicago def. Oberlin, 23-4

Notre Dame def. Cleveland State, 23-4
Ohio State def. Duke, 25-2
Ohio State (W) def. Duke (W), 15-12
Northwestern def. Oberlin, 25-2
Wayne State def. Lawrence, 17-10
Detroit Mercy def. Chicago, 16-11

Notre Dame def. Chicago, 24-3
Duke def. Lawrence, 23-4
Duke (W) def. Lawrence (W), 23-4
Ohio State def. Cleveland State, 27-0
Northwestern def. Detroit Mercy, 15-12
Wayne State def. Oberlin, 26-1

Notre Dame def. Northwestern, 24-3
Ohio State def. Chicago, 26-1
Wayne State def. Detroit Mercy, 16-11
Lawrence def. Oberlin, 22-4

Notre Dame def. Wayne State, 22-5
Ohio State def. Northwestern, 23-4
Cleveland State def. Chicago, 21-6
Detroit Mercy def. Lawrence, 13-13 (on touches)

Notre Dame def. Lawrence, 21-6
Ohio State def. Wayne State, 21-6
Detroit Mercy def. Oberlin, 23-4
Northwestern def. Cleveland State, 18-9