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Sobieraj Claims Midwest Fencing Conference Epee Title, Four Others Reach Final

March 7, 2004

Notre Dame junior Michal Sobieraj took home the men’s epee trophy while Irish fencers reached the final in four of the five others weapons, in Sunday’s action at the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships (held in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse).

Sobieraj – who did not fence in the 2002 MFCs (due to injury) and finished outside the top eight in ’03 – defeated Wayne State’s Marek Petraszek in a 15-9 final to take home the 2004 trophy. The Irish men also posted finalists in the other two weapons, with freshman Frank Bontempo making an impressive run to the foil final (losing 15-5 to Ohio State’s Boaz Ellis) while his classmate Patrick Ghattas dropped a 15-6 sabre final to defending NCAA champ Adam Crompton of Ohio State.

Notre Dame junior Alicja Kryczalo nearly claimed her third MFC title, losing a 15-12 final to OSU’s Hannah Thompson. Freshman Valerie Providenza also reached the final in sabre, dropping a 15-8 bout to OSU’s Louise-Bond Williams (the ’02 NCAA runner-up).

The Irish continued to fence without two of their top competitors, women’s epeeist Kerry Walton and men’s foilist Derek Snyder.

Kryczalo advanced to the final with a semifinal win over her classmate Andrea Ament, with seniors Maggie Jordan (10th) and Beth Emilian (12th) also finishing among the top 12 in the women’s foil competition.

Bontempo also faced one of his teammates in the late rounds, advancing past the foil team captain and fifth-year fencer Forest Walton in the quartefinals (freshman Eamon Murphy placed 8th).

Freshman Amy Orlando nearly battled her way into the epee final, losing a 14-11 bout to Wayne State’s Anna Garina in the semifinals. Garina then defeated her teammate Anna Vinnikov to claim the epee title (15-11). Junior Becca Chimahusky added a 5th-place finish in the women’s epee competition.

Freshman Aaron Adjemian (7th) and Jesse Laeuchli (12th) joined Sobieraj with top-12 finishes in men’s epee while seniors Destanie Milo (5th) and Danielle Davis (8th) and freshman Angela Vincent (10th) followed Providenza among the top women’s sabre finishers.

There nearly was an all-Notre Dame final in men’s sabre but freshman Matthew Stearns was unable to overcome Crompton, the brother of former ND All-America sabre Andre Crompton, in a 15-11 semifinal. Four other Irish fencers -sophomore Nicholas Diacou (5th), senior Brian Dosal (6th), sophomore Alex Schumacher (10th) and junior John Espinosa (11th) – gave the Irish six top-12 finishers in men’s sabre.

Here are additional notes for each weapon, along with the full lists of top-12 finishes and complete scores from the quartefinals, semifinals and finals:

Women’s Foil – Kryczalo battled back from 7-3 and 12-9 deficits before dropping the final to Thomson (15-12) … Kryczalo posted a quarterfinal win over Northwestern’s Kristina Wang (15-4) while Ament beat Chicago’s Elizabeth Cuming (15-4) … the semifinals then saw Kryczalo beat Ament (15-8) while Thompson edged NU’s Julia Foldi (15-11) … Ament and Thompson were tied for the top seed but Thompson earned the seed (determined by random draw), setting up the Ament-Kryczalo semifinal … Kryczalo posted a pair of 15-0 wins before the 15-4 win over Wang … Thompson’s twin sister Metta was a scratch … Ament was the 2003 MFC runner-up, losing 15-9 to Kryczalo.

Top 12 – 1. Hannah Thompson (Ohio State); 2. Alicja Kryczalo (Notre Dame); 3. Julia Foldi (Northwestern) and Andrea Ament (Notre Dame); 5. Jessica Florendo (Northwestern); 6. Christina Wang (Northwestern); 7. Lindsay Howard (Wayne State); 8. Elisabeth Cuming (Chicago); 9. Laura Chapin (Michigan State); 10. Maggie Jordan (Notre Dame); 11. Alana Baxter (Lawrence); 12. Elizabeth Emilian (Notre Dame)

QUARTERFINALS – Hannah Thompson def. Howard (15-7) … Foldi def. Florendo (15-5) … Kryczalo def. Wang (15-4) … Ament def. Cuming, (15-4)

SEMIFINALS – Thompson def. Foldi (15-11) … Kryczalo def. Ament (15-8)

FINAL – Thompson def. Kryczalo, 15-12

Men’s Foil – Fifth-year fencer Forest Walton could have reached the semifinals but he dropped a 15-9 bout vs. Bontempo in the quarterfinal … Walton reached the semifinals of the 2003 MCFs (losing to teammate and four-time MFC champ Ozren Debic).

Top 12 – 1. Boaz Ellis (Ohio State); 2. Frank Bontempo (Notre Dame); 3. Richard Spicer (Ohio State) and Alexander Law (Ohio State); 5. Forest Walton (Notre Dame); 6. Nathan Weir (Ohio State); 7. Sean O’Brien (Michigan); 8. Eamon Murphy (Notre Dame); 9. Matt Robinson (Northwestern); 10. Mike Merker (Cleveland State); 11. Matt Borders (Michigan State); 12. Kin Lau (Michigan State).

QUARTERFINALS – Ellis def. O’Brien, 15-3 … Spicer def. Weir, 15-8 … Bontempo def. Walton, 15-9 … Law def. Murphy, 15-9

SEMIFINALS – Ellis def. Spicer, 15-4 … Bontempo def. Law, 15-10

FINALS – Ellis def. Bontempo, 15-5

Women’s Epee Top 12 – 1. Anna Garina (Wayne State); 2. Anna Vinnikov (Wayne State); 3. (tie) Amy Orlando (Notre Dame) and Alexandra Shklar (Ohio State); 5. Rebecca Chimahusky (Notre Dame); 6. Sharon Sullivan (Northwestern); 7. Kelsey Nenchek (Northwestern); 8. Sarah Gravlee (Northwestern); 9. Caitlin O’Sullivan (Ohio State); 10. Kaela Brendler (Ohio State); 11. Talia Viggers (Ohio State); 12. Courtney DuBois (Northwestern)

QUARTERFINALS – Garina def. Gravlee, 15-4 … Orlando def. Chimahusky, 15-7 … Vinnikov def. Sullivan, 15-10 .. Shklar def. Nenchek, 15-4

SEMIFINALS – Garina def. Orlando, 14-11 … Vinnikov def. Shklar, 15-10

FINALS – Garina def. Vinnikov, 15-11

Men’s Epee – The Sobieraj-Petraszek final was tied 6-6 before Sobieraj ripped off nine straight points for the win … Sobieraj bested his Poland countryman Wojciech Dudek of Wayne State in the semifinals (15-11), with Petraszek edging OSU’s Brian Gross (15-12).

Top 12 – 1. Michal Sobieraj (Notre Dame); 2. Marek Petraszek (Wayne State); 3. Wojciech Dudek (Wayne State) and Brian Gross (Ohio State); 5. Spencer Jones (Ohio State); 6. Denis Tolkachev (Ohio State); 7. Aaron Adjemian (Notre Dame); 8. Christian Rivera (Ohio State); 9. Tim Levar (Cleveland State); 10. Matt Bruno (Purdue); 11. Adam Maczik (Michigan); 12. Jesse Laeuchli (Notre Dame)

QUARTERFINALS – Dudek def. Jones, 14-13 … Sobieraj def. Tolkachev, 15-10 … Petraszek def. Adjemian, 15-4 … Gross def. Rivera, 15-13

SEMIFINALS – Sobieraj def. Dudek, 15-11 … Petraszek def. Gross, 15-12

FINALS – Sobieraj def. Petraszek, 15-9

Women’s Sabre – Four Irish fencers finished in the top 12, with senior Destanie Milo losing a 15-11 quarterfinal vs. Northwestern’s Lauren Van Gieson … Providenza beat NU’s Lauren Dunn in the quarterfinals (15-5) and Van Gieson in the semi’s (15-6) … Milo’s previous MFC finishes include reaching the semifinals in 2001 and ’02.

Top 12 – 1. Louise Bond-Williams (Ohio State); 2. Valerie Providenza (Notre Dame); 3. Syvenna Siebert (Ohio State) and Lauren Van Gieson (Northwestern); 5. Destanie Milo (Notre Dame); 6. Lauren Dunn (Northwestern); 7. Emily Pasternak (Northwestern); 8. Danielle Davis (Notre Dame); 9. Julie Crimmons (Michigan); 10. Angela Vincent (Notre Dame); 11. Kelly Lone (Ohio State); 12. Stepanie Eustis (Northwestern)

QUARTERFINALS – Bond-Williams def. Pasternak, 15-5; Siebert def. Davis, 15-9; Providenza def. Dunn, 15-5; Van Gieson def. Milo, 15-11

SEMIFINALS – Bond-Williams def. Siebert, 15-11; Providenza def. Van Gieson, 15-6

FINAL – Bond-Williams def. Providenza, 15-8

Men’s Sabre – Notre Dame placed eight fencers into the quarterfinals and six in the top 12 … Ghattas rallied from two deficits to beat OSU’s Jason Paul in the semifinals, after a 15-8 quarterfinal win over Northwestern’s James Zirkle.

Top 12 – 1. Adam Crompton (Ohio State); 2. Patrick Ghattas (Notre Dame); 3. (tie) Jason Paul (Ohio State), Matthew Stearns (Notre Dame); 5. Nicholas Diacou (Notre Dame); 6. Brian Dosal (Notre Dame); 7. Bobby Smith (Wayne State); 8. James Zirkle (Northwestern); 9. Chris Williams (Wayne State); 10. Alex Schumacher (Notre Dame); 11. John Espinosa (Notre Dame); 12. Zachary Parkins (Ohio State)

QUARTERFINALS – Ghattas def. Zirkle, 15-8 … Paul def. Diacou, 15-6 … Stearns def. Dosal, 15-6 … Crompton def. Smith 15-5

SEMIFINALS – Ghattas def. Paul, 15-14 … Crompton def. Stearns, 15-11

FINALS – Crompton def. Ghattas, 15-6