Fencing: Fencers return to action
By: MATT LOZAR
After a weekend off, the Notre Dame men's and women's fencing teams return to action this weekend at the Wayne State Duals.
While Notre Dame is the only team at the meet ranked in the top 10 nationally in both men's and women's competition, Andre Crompton knows this contest isn't meaningless.
"I don't want us to get too overconfident because we still have some unfinished business," said the senior sabreman. "We still have to accomplish our goal of having an undefeated season. But it is nice that some of the guys that don't usually get to travel can make the trip and get some experience."
Leading the men's team so far this season has been its three captains. Junior foilist Ozren Debic, junior epeeist Jan Viviani and Crompton have compiled a combined 98-10 record through the team's first three meets.
"I know we [the captains] have just focused on winning," Crompton said. "We are trying to lead by example."
Earlier this week, the men's team returned to the top spot in the country and claimed the No.1 ranking in the national poll. Coincidentally, last year during the same week, the men's team took over as the No. 1 team in the nation.
"We shouldn't get too overconfident about this pre-tournament ranking," said Crompton. "We are still the underdogs going into NCAAs since we finished third last year."
Last weekend, freshman Derek Snyder finished fifth in the junior men's foil at the Junior Olympics in Columbus, Ohio. Snyder is still ranked second nationally in the junior men's foil.
While the men's team moved up a spot in the national rankings, the women's team dropped to No. 3. Its loss to St. John's and split with Northwestern led to the change in the poll.
Two weeks ago, the women's team compiled a 4-0 record. They look to regain that momentum this weekend.
"Wayne State should be a nice practice meet," said sophomore Destanie Milo. "We are going to take it really easy, take our time and do our best."
Having last weekend off, the Irish were able to use their practice time to focus on becoming sharper and more prepared for the rest of the season.
"We have been working on the basics, doing some drills, and did a little bit of conditioning,"Milo said.
Besides host Wayne State, Detroit-Mercy, Lawrence, Michigan and Michigan State will be competing this weekend at the duals in Detroit.
Next weekend, the Irish will host their only home meet of the year, the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships.
All Sports Stories for Friday, February 22, 2002