Irish fencers claim four individual titles, nab 11 of 24 first-team conference spots
By: MATT LOZAR
After winning the team competition on Saturday, the Notre Dame fencing team continued its domination of the Midwest Conference in Sunday's individual competition: The Irish won four individual titles, took second place four times and claimed 11 of the 24 first-team conference spots.
In two events, the Irish sent two fencers to the championship match. Sophomore Kerry Walton defeated teammate junior Anna Carnick 15-13 to win women's epee.
"I was glad it was a teammate," Walton said. "If you have to fence anyone in the finals, it might as well be a teammate."
With two fencers in the finals, the women's epee squad rebounded from their third-place effort on Saturday that prevented the Irish from sweeping the team competition.
Junior Ozren Debic continued his success at the conference championships by winning his third individual foil title in as many years. For the third consecutive year, Debic beat a teammate in the finals; this year he defeated senior Steve Mautone 15-11.
In his two previous conference championships, junior epeeist Jan Viviani took second in the individual competition. This year, however, Viviani finally won his own conference championship by defeating Spencer Jones from Ohio State 15-5.
"It's nice not to finish in second again," Viviani said.
With the score 5-4 after the first period, Viviani took control of the match by outscoring Jones 10-1 in the second to win the match 15-5.
"I think usually when I fence a 15-touch bout, it takes me a period to get comfortable," Viviani said.
Freshman Alicja Kryczalo continued her impressive debut season by winning women's foil. The championship match had Kryczalo against Northwestern's Julia Foldi. Kryczalo easily won 15-4. Sunday's match was the third time Kryczalo defeated Foldi this season.
In women's sabre, senior Carianne McCullough and sophomore Destanie Milo faced each other in the semifinals. Down 14-12, McCullough battled back and won the match 15-14. Both fencers lost in the semifinals of the 2001 conference championships.
Louise Bond-Williams, a freshman from Ohio State, awaited McCullough in the finals. McCullough defeated Bond-Williams earlier in the season but was unable to get on track in Sunday's conference championship match. Bond-Williams won 15-5.
Senior sabre captain Andre Crompton faced a familiar foe in the finals. Wayne State senior Jakub Krochmalski, who defeated Irish senior Andrzej Bednarski 15-11 in the semifinals to make it to the finals, awaited Crompton.
In 2000, Krochmalski defeated Crompton to win the conference championship; but in 2001, Crompton beat Krochmalski in the semifinals en route to his first conference title. Crompton won 5-3 in the 2001 NCAA Championships but Krochmalski won 5-2 at the Ohio State Duals this season.
In a tightly contested match, Krochmalski took a late lead at 13-10 and held off Crompton's final charge to win the men's sabre title 15-13.
The Irish fencing team looks to continue their individual success next week at the Midwest regional qualifier at Case Western Reserve University.
All Sports Stories for Monday, March 4, 2002