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Fencing: Top ranked Irish dominate

Joe Wirth | Monday, January 24, 2011

The No. 1 women’s and men’s Irish fencing teams opened the 2011 campaign this weekend by participating in the NYU Invitational.

Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said being No. 1 in the polls is a testament of what kind of team the Irish are, and what kind of team they can become.

“It’s showing the strength of our team,” Bednarski said. “It’s also showing the ambition to be No. 1.”

With top 10 teams, such as Ohio State, Columbia and Northwestern, among others, competing in the invitational, Bednarski said before the event that it would be one of the sternest tests his Irish team would face all season.

The Irish more than held their own. Between the men’s and women’s teams the Irish won 11 matches in the event. The women went undefeated with a perfect 6-0 and the men notched a 5-1 record.

The women recorded victories over fencing heavyweights Yale, Columbia, Northwestern, Ohio State, St. John’s and NYU. The men were victorious against Yale, Stevens Tech, Columbia, NYU and Ohio State. Their only loss came against No. 3 St. John’s.

Sophomore James Kaull and senior Jacob Osborne led the men’s team. Kaull finished the matches with a 12-3 record, including 3-0 bouts against Stevens Tech and Ohio State. Osborne had a 9-4 record, which included winning two or more bouts against Yale, NYU and Ohio State.

The women’s team was led by their two All-Americans: senior Ewa Neelip and junior Courtney Hurley. Neelip compiled a record of 14-2, which included undefeated bouts against Northwestern, NYU, and St. John’s. Hurley accumulated a 13-2 record and was also undefeated in three bouts. She went unblemished against Columbia, Yale and Northwestern.