Irish dominate home turf with win against Midwest rivals
By MIKE CONNOLLY
Meagan Call is not someone you want to make angry.
The sophomore All-American bounced back from a 1-2 record against Air Force to go 3-0 against North-western and lead the Irish to a dominating 17-10 win against their chief Midwest rivals.
"I lost two to Air Force and got really, really pissed off,"Call said. "Then I did pretty well against Northwestern."
The win was the second straight against Northwestern for the Irish as they upset the Wildcats 14-13 last weekend in Evanston.
"I wasn't too happy with the performance last week," head coach Yves Auriol said about the improvement since last week. "I think this week we put everything together. I think the more we are fencing the better we get now as the season goes on. I think we are going to get even better."
Call improved upon a 1-2 record against Northwestern last weekend and helped the epee squad redeem their 8-1 loss to Northwestern last week with a 5-4 victory this weekend. Kim DeMaio and Anna Carnick both picked up one win each against the Wildcats after going 0-3 last weekend.
The weekend was a complete success for the epee squad, according to DeMaio as the epeeists also redeemed themselves with a 5-4 win against Wayne State after falling to the Warriors in the semifinals of the 2000 Midwest Regional Championships.
"I am so happy with the whole weekend," epee captain DeMaio said. "We finally pulled it all together."
In addition to the turnaround by the epee squad, both the sabre squad and the foil squad defeated their Northwestern counterparts.
Sabre dominated Northwest-ern winning 7-2 while foil eked out a 5-4 win.
Foil squad captain Liza Boutsikaris led the Irish with a 3-0 record against the Wildcats while freshman Maggie Jordan chipped in two wins.
Destanie Milo and Cari McCullough both went 3-0 against the Wildcats — including a 5-2 and 5-4 wins against Wildcat All-American Carly Wells.
All-American Natalia Mazur picked up the other win against Northwestern. Freshman Jessie Filkins lost both bouts to Northwestern but went 12-4 on the weekend.
"This [sabre] squad is real good," Auriol said. "We have four girls who can rotate and sub and it doesn't really effect the team's performance. It's a very solid squad."
Overall, Auriol was pleased with the progress shown by the women's team since their 1-3 showing at New York in the first weekend.
"[We are] closer but not where we want to be. We want to qualify everyone for NCAA but we have a long way to go," he said. "The women's epee squad is the squad I am most concerned about. But today they showed a lot because the Northwestern women's team is very good and we beat them."
With Call fencing the best of her career for epee, All-American Carnick is the epeeist who needs to step up to qualify at the Midwest Regionals in March.
She has been slowed by an injury all year and is only starting to come back into her 2000 form. This was the best weekend of the year for her as she went 27-4.
"She is getting better and better," Auriol said. "That is a good sign. I am very happy. She's not there yet. She's not as good as last year but probably in a month from now she will be back."
In addition to the win against the Wildcats, the Irish went undefeated in their nine other matches on the weekend. The Irish also scored a 20-7 win against Air Force in the second toughest match-up of the weekend.
Notre Dame also defeated eight club teams by wide margins — Minnesota (23-4), Michigan (20-7), Lawrence (21-6), Michigan State (24-3), Detroit (23-4), Chicago (23-4), Wayne State (28-9), Cleveland State (21-6) and Purdue (23-4).
The home meet was also a chance for the reserves to fence a few bouts. Donna Mowchan and Mary Beth Williard both played productive roles for the sabre squad with 13-2 records for the weekend. Michelle Sutton went 10-3 for foil as the top reserve.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, February 6, 2001