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Fencing: Two players finish in top ten at tournament

Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Four Notre Dame fencers traveled to Dallas, Texas, last week to compete in the United States Fencing Association Junior Olympics. Entering with high hopes, the Irish emerged with two top-10 finishes through Monday morning, as freshmen Mike Rossi and Abigail Nichols finished seventh and ninth in men’s epee and women’s sabre, respectively.

Nichols, the third seed heading into the tournament, placed first in her pool and won the first five bouts of the second round before falling to Alisha Gomez, 15-8. Rossi finished second in his pool and then reeled off a string of victories in the second round before falling in a close 15-11 bout.

Sophomore James Kaull, who finished 12th in the men’s epee, and freshman Nicholas Kubik, who placed 66th in men’s foil, also turned in strong performances.

The finish matched Rossi’s top placing at the Junior Olympics, an event in which he has competed five times. The Junior Olympics is a national competition independent of the NCAA that matches some of the top amateur fencers in the country against each other in two age groups, U17 and U20.

The Notre Dame fencing teams next take to the strip in two weeks for the conference championships to be held at the Joyce Center on March 5.