Men's and women's squads combine to give Irish overall title
By: MATT LOZAR
At the Midwest Conference Championships, the women's sabre team was able to avenge their defeat to Northwestern last year and help lead the Notre Dame women's fencing team to first place. The men's squad defended their conference title and combined with the women to give the Irish the overall title.
Against rival Northwestern, the Irish went 2-1 on the day in team competition. In the women's foil, freshmen Andrea Ament and Alicja Kryczalo led the Irish to the 5-3 victory.
The semifinals of women's sabre saw the Irish face the Wildcats with the Irish prevailing 5-2. Senior captain Carianne McCullough and sophomore Maggie Jordan each had 2 wins in Notre Dame's 5-2 victory. The Irish won the title with a 5-0 sweep of Michigan.
The only disappointment of the day for Notre Dame came in women's epee: Northwestern got the best of Notre Dame in the semifinals, 5-2, and won the title against Ohio State. The Irish defeated Wayne State for third place.
Coach Yves Auriol was not satisfied with the results from the epee squad.
"They did good, except for women's epee," Auriol said. "The women's epee is a weapon where the results sometimes are up and down. So they didn't fence too good today."
The two first-place finishes and one third-place finish gave the women's team 425 points.
On the men's side, for the second straight year they won each individual event to sweep the overall team title with 450 points.
In the most exciting men's championship match, the epee team pulled out a 5-4 victory over Ohio State. Junior captain Jan Viviani got three wins, leading the squad. Freshman Michael Macaulay replaced Brian Casas and earned the deciding victory to give the Irish the title.
Both of the other events saw the Irish cruise to the titles. Men's sabre won the championship 5-3 over Ohio State. The foil team defeated Wayne State 5-2 in their title match.
The Northwestern women's team finished second with 400 points. Ohio State was in third with 385 points. In the men's standings, Ohio State took second with a total of 385 points and Northwestern was third.
Overall, Ohio State finished in second with 770 points and Northwestern ended up in third with 745 points.
Coach Auriol was pleased with his team's efforts in the team portion of the weekend's competition.
"I am very pleased overall. The goal was to win the overall [title] and we did," Auriol said. "I am very pleased with the women's sabre team. They fenced very well [especially since] Northwestern has a good sabre squad."
Next weekend, the Irish will participate in the Midwest Regional Qualifier at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland attempting to qualify their fencers for the NCAA Championships.
- Freshman Derek Snyder did not fence this weekend after having his tonsils removed this week. He is also suffering some complications from the procedure. Coach Auriol is not sure if Snyder will be available for the regional competition.
- Also not fencing this weekend was freshman Michal Sobieraj. He is recovering from a foot injury and is expected to be in practice this week and should be available for regionals.
All Sports Stories for Monday, March 4, 2002