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Fencing: Kiefer takes silver in Virginia Beach

By Peter Steiner | Monday, November 12, 2012

With one day remaining in the November North American Cup, Notre Dame fencers have already put up a strong showing.

The Irish have taken home three medals in the individual tournament in Virginia Beach, Va. Each of the three medals have come from the Division I women’s events, with Olympian and freshman foilist Lee Kiefer’s second-place finish in the women’s foil highlighting the weekend.

Sophomore foilist Madison Zeiss placed third in the women’s foil, while sophomore epeeist Nicole Ameli tied for third place in the women’s epee. U.S. Olympian and 2010 Notre Dame graduate Kelley Hurley took home first place in the women’s epee.

“I performed really well this weekend, especially for the Division I category,” Zeiss said. “I fenced really strong and was able to adjust to many different situations.”

Because the North American Cup is solely for individual fencers, it does not have collegiate implications. The fencers compete for national points in order to qualify for the national team for the World Championships, World Cups and future Olympic games. In addition, the nature of the individual tournament differs from collegiate events, Zeiss said.

“The NAC differs a lot from college events mainly because the format is different,” Zeiss said. “At the NAC, you just fence a round-robin round of pools with a group of six to seven girls, then do direct elimination bouts to 15 touches. Your ranking after the pool round determines your place in the direct elimination tableau. The direct elimination bouts then continue until one person wins the tournament.”

At the November North American Cup, there are typically at least 115 fencers competing in the various Division I and Junior division events for each weapon. As a result, there is a wide range in competition and opponents, Zeiss said.

“The level of competition at any NAC varies by age categories and skill level,” Zeiss said. “At this specific tournament, I competed in the Division I category, which anyone is allowed to compete in depending on their ranking, and the Junior category, which is for fencers 19 and under.”

Senior foilist Gerek Meinhardt will compete Monday against 191 other competitors in the Division I men’s foil event to conclude the Cup.

Contact Peter Steiner at psteiner@nd.edu