Notre Dame finishes undefeated at Duals
Brett O'Connell | Monday, February 2, 2015
The Irish downed seven ranked teams en route to a perfect 13-0 record at the Northwestern Duals on Saturday.
After earning a pair of winning records at the NYU Invitational last weekend, the Irish women’s (20-2) and men’s (14-6) squads continued to build momentum heading into their home meet this coming weekend at the DeCicco Duals.
The day started with a contentious round between the women’s squad and No. 3 ranked Princeton. The Irish took two of the three weapons in the match in the process of winning the match 14-13. This would prove the most contentious result of the afternoon for the Irish women, who posted an 18-9 win against Penn in the second round, followed by a 17-10 win against Northwestern. Notre Dame’s women’s squad is now 3-0 in 2015 competition against Northwestern.
The Irish set the tone for the day with strong preparation for Princeton, junior foil Sarah Followill said.
“We started off the day fencing our hardest school, Princeton,” Followill said. “We had a bye in the first round, so Princeton had already fenced a round before us. We made sure we warmed up enough and fenced a lot beforehand, and we came out really strong, confident and loud in our first bouts.”
The women’s foil squad posted a pair of 8-1 records in the second and third rounds of the meet and earned victories in every round they competed in.
“This weekend we were undefeated overall, which was great,” Followill said. “We really started off strong and kept the energy up throughout the day. Coming into DeCicco Duals, we’re confident that we will do just as well.”
The men’s squad started with a bye in the first and fourth rounds, but proceeded to earn victories in each of the other six rounds including a second-round win against the No. 7 Princeton men’s squad. They also earned a 25-2 victory over Cal Tech in the eighth and final round of the afternoon. Both foil and sabre were an undefeated 9-0 against the Cal Tech men, while the epee squad posted a record of 7-2.
The men’s sabre line-up received national attention in the week leading up to the Northwestern Duals, with freshman sabre Jonah Shainberg earning honors as the ACC Men’s Fencer of the Week. Senior epee Ashley Severson won the women’s honor for the week as well. This marked the second time this season that the Irish have earned both awards in the same week — freshman sabre Francesca Russo and sophomore foil Hazem Khazbak earned the honors following the Ohio State Elite Cup in mid-November.
“Having a tournament at home is really great,” Followill said. “We are only able to travel 30 fencers to other tournaments, so when we fence at Notre Dame our other fencers get a chance to compete. We have a really strong team this year, and our team is also very large. So more people get the chance to fence when we stay here. It’s also just more convenient when we don’t have to travel.”
The Irish stay home this coming weekend as they host the DeCicco Duals at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.