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FENCING: Irish fall short of win in NYU tournament

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, January 23, 2006

This weekend’s matches at the NYU duals proved to be bittersweet for Notre Dame.

Despite finding early success against the nation’s top teams on Sunday, both Irish teams fell just short of the victory, finishing 4-1.

The No. 2-ranked men defeated their first four opponents. Their first match-up against Yale proved to be less challenging than expected with a 20-7 Irish win. Sophomore foilist Jakub Jedrkowiak and junior Frank Bontempo both posted wins over 2004 NCAA runner-up Cory Werk. Freshman Mark Kubik fell just short of another Irish victory over Werk, dropping the match 4-5.

“I started off well, but didn’t fence well during the bout,” Kubick said. “It could have gone either way. But that is how fencing goes. I had some trouble hitting.”

No. 5 Columbia was Notre Dame’s next challenge.

Notre Dame clinched the impressive win by sophomore epeeist Greg Howard’s 5-3 victory over Max Czapanskiy. Another noteworthy performance came from Kubik, who defeated Scott Sugimoto 5-3. Sugimoto registered victories over Jedrkowiak (5-3) and Bontempo (5-4).

“I have been fencing Scott for a while, I was pretty familiar with and made the match a little easier,” Kubic said. “He fenced well against my teammates, but a match that I was pretty on.”

After defeating its next two competitors NYU (17-10) and No. 6 St. John’s (17-10), Notre Dame suffered its only loss of the weekend from No. 1 Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ All American Christian Rivera swept the ND epeeists including a 5-4 win over freshman Karol Kostka. Two-time NCAA champion Boaz Ellis collected three 5-0 victories over the Irish foilists.

The No. 1 ranked women opened with a 20-7 win over No. 8 Yale.

Freshman foilist Adrienne Nott posted a 5-4 victory over NCAA veteran Alisa Mendelsohn. Sophomore Melanie Bautista followed Nott’s win with her own 3-2 overtime victory over Mendelsohn.

However, the women could not continue their momentum against No. 3 Columbia, dropping the match 8-19.

All-American Morgan Midgley, a third-place finisher for Columbia at the 2005 NCAAs, defeated Irish junior Amy Orlando 5-3 and freshman Madeleine Stephen. But Midgley could not finish the sweep, as fifth-year senior Becca Chimahusky topped the All-American 3-2 in overtime.

The women finished out the competition with wins over NYU (24-3), St. John’s (16-11) and No. 4 Ohio State (17-10).

Although the Irish failed to come out on top, the team was still satisfied with its efforts over the weekend.

“We struggled at certain points, but in the end we pulled things together,” junior sabre Valerie Providenza said.