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Fencing

Losses to Columbia mar strong Irish showings in New York

| Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Notre Dame had a strong showing at a pair of meets over the weekend, first at the St. John’s Invitational Saturday, followed by the NYU Invitational on Sunday.

The fourth-ranked Irish men and the third-ranked Irish women women began by going 3-2 and 4-1, respectively, at the first tournament. The next day, both Irish programs went 4-1, losing only to No. 1-ranked Columbia.

The men began the Invitational with a rematch against St. John’s, whom they had previously lost to the day before at the St. John’s Invitational, and were able to defeat the Red Storm, 17-10. Contributing to this victory were the epee and foil groups, who both finished 7-2. In their match against host NYU, the Irish men finished 17-10. All three weapons groups posted winning records. The men on Sunday fell only to Columbia, 15-12 — a slightly wider margin than the 14-13 Columbia win on Sunday — and soundly defeated Wayne State with a 25-2 victory that included both epee and foil groups finishing undefeated.

The Irish women proved to be tough against their opponents as well with a 21-6 win over No. 10 St. John’s and a 22-5 win over host NYU on Sunday, after beating No. 5 Penn State, No. 7 Harvard, No. 4 Ohio State and the same St. John’s squad on Saturday. The Sunday foil team for the Irish women dominated with 9-0 wins over both St. John’s and NYU and the sabre team record followed closely behind, finishing at 7-2 against the two teams. The women’s only struggles came against No. 1 Columbia, to whom they lost 16-11 on Sunday and 14-13 on Saturday. Only the Irish women’s foilists posted a winning record against Columbia on Sunday, finishing at 6-3. With a 20-7 win over Wayne State, however, the Irish closed the weekend on a strong note.

Key players in the NYU Invitational included junior sabreur Jonah Shainberg, who led the men’s team with a 7-4 record. Two freshmen, Zachary Zeller and Ariel Simmons, also had strong showings, finishing 6-2 and 6-1, respectively.

The Irish women were led by senior foilist Lee Kiefer, who posted an 8-0 record, giving her a 20-0 record thus far this season. Senior Eva Niklinska went 4-2 in epee on Sunday and, in sabre, junior Claudia Kulmacz was 9-3.

The next competition for the Irish will be at home with the DeCicco Duals on Saturday and Sunday at Castellan Family Fencing Center.

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