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Fencing

No. 1 Notre Dame sweeps DeCicco Duals

| Tuesday, January 30, 2018

No. 1 Notre Dame continued its dominant streak in its third event of the New Year, going undefeated in the DeCicco Duals, its home event.

The Irish hosted 11 teams at the Castellan Family Fencing Center on Saturday and Sunday. The teams were primarily clubs programs, aside from the Northwestern women’s varsity program.

Emma Farnan | The Observer

Irish sophomore epeeist Zachary Cheng lunges as his opponent during the DeCicco Duals on Sunday at Castellan Family Fencing Center.

“This was primarily for the second lineup of fencers,” Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia said. “This allowed kids who could be contributors in the coming weeks to gain some experience.”

Saturday opened with both the men’s and women’s teams going undefeated in foil and sabre against Detroit Mercy, with the women finishing the Titans off 26-1 for the women and and the men ending the day 25-2. Senior epeeists Marie-Anne Roche and Katherine Clarke continued their undefeated streaks against Wayne State, while sophomores Natalie Disher and Christina Boitano led the sabre team to a landslide victory. The foil team continued the team’s success, led by junior Sabrina Massialas.

Following the two club matchups, the Irish took on their only ranked bout against No. 8 Northwestern. Roche, Disher and Boitano finished the day undefeated, joined by undefeated bouts from sophomore foilist Finnula Mageras, sophomore sabreur Regina O’Brien, epeeist junior Amanda Sirico and junior foilist Elyssa Kleiner to beat the Wildcats 17-10. Sophomore Zachary Zeller led the men’s team through Saturday as the only epeeist to go undefeated through three bouts. The foil team also had a solid showing with the only loss coming in one bout against the Northwestern men’s club team. Ending the day, senior Paul Cepak, freshman Jack Rohan and junior Blake Murphy led the sabreurs to an undefeated day.

The teams maintained their momentum going into the second half of the weekend taking on clubs teams from Clemson, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, McKendree, Michigan and Michigan State. The Irish women opened Sunday led by Roche, senior sabreur Madeline Gallagher and freshman Mari Summers, ceding a total of 20 points throughout eight matches. The men were even more dominant, giving up a total of 16 points. The day began without a loss from all three teams through two rounds against Clemson and Florida. Senior epeeist Christian Aguilar, sophomore foilist Alexander Ju and Cepak carried the team to an undefeated finish.

“We’re in the spot that we’re supposed to be and now we’re focusing on individual player development,” Kvaratskhelia said. “We’ll take whatever the bout showed us to make adjustments but we’re pretty happy with the results.” 

The Irish finished the weekend with a 12-0 record on both men’s and the women’s sides advancing their records to 21-4 and 25-1, respectively. Notre Dame will host several top-10 squads this coming in the Northwestern Duals, also taking place at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.

“We have to produce next weekend,” Kvaratskhelia said. “The ACC championship is 52 days away. That is our main focus right now what happens until then is irrelevant until we get to NCAA qualifiers. This is a process.

“We’re in the spot that we’re supposed to be and now we’re focusing on individual player development. We’ll take whatever the bout showed us to make adjustments but we’re pretty happy with the results.”

The Northwestern Duals begin at the Castellan Family Fencing Center on Saturday and continue through Sunday, taking place all day both days.

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