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Fencing: Squad sweeps Notre Dame Duals

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, January 30, 2006

The No. 1 Irish women swept the field this weekend at the Notre Dame Duals as they finished 8-0 in the tournament and improved to 18-1 on the season. The most impressive showings for Notre Dame were its 19-8 win over Duke and 18-9 victories over No. 7 Northwestern and Wayne State.

Despite their No. 1 ranking, the dominance the Irish displayed over the field came as a slight surprise to coach Janusz Bednarski.

“We have a new team and our ranking [is based off the] impression of the past and the championship that we won last year – not changes in the roster,” Bednarski said. “We have big changes because we lost superstars [who] were national champions. So the new team has a much harder task.”

Epeeist Amy Orlando and sabreist Ashley Serrette helped the Irish to power their way past competition.

Orlando topped two-time NCAA epee champion Anna Garina of Wayne State in a 5-4 overtime bout and Serrette recorded wins over All-American Ibtihaj Muhammad of Duke 5-4 and Annie Massart 5-3.

“[Serrette] was doing a beautiful job,” Bednarski said. “She needs a little more experience, but she was bouting above expectations.”

However, despite the success Serrette found against Duke, she felt several of the calls were questionable during the competition.

“The director didn’t call timing, attack preps and just based it all off the lights,” Serrette said, regarding the way the bout was scored. “And you can’t do that. So [our team] had to adjust.”

The women’s foilists also needed to readjust their approach against the competition.

“A couple of teams were a little rocky like Lawrence and Duke,” foilist Adi Nott said. “But we held together pretty well.”

Nott finished the weekend with double-digit wins in addition to foilist Emilie Prot’s impressive showing throughout the weekend.

Bednarski said the No. 2 men’s team also performed higher than previously expected by defeating The men defeated No. 10 Duke 22-5 and Wayne State 22-5.

The squad dropped less than 30 bouts over the weekend in improving its record to 18-1.

“They show ambition, skill, and cooperation,” he said. “They show a lot of potential. [Especially] the men’s epee team, [which was] winning bouts against opponents who [were] really ranked higher and [had] a very good style.”

The standouts in the men’s competition came from epeeists Greg Howard (9-0) and freshman Karol Kostka (10-1). Both finished with wins over defending NCAA runner-up Marek Petraszek.

“Greg Howard was one of the heroes on the men’s side,” Bednarski said.

Three other epeeists finished with double-digit wins – juniors Patrick Gettings

(15-1), Jesse Laeuchli (14-1) and Aaron Adjemian (10-1).

“[We are] a strong team with ability to achieve strong results,” Bednarski said.