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Fencing: Irish set for regional teams at OSU Duals

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, February 3, 2006

This weekend, the Irish will travel to Ohio State and compete in the Ohio State Duals with a field of 13 teams.

The Irish are hoping to capitalize on the success that both the No. 1-ranked women’s and No. 4-ranked men’s teams found at last weekend’s Notre Dame Duals. Both finished with 8-0 records against some of the nation’s top competition, including Duke and Northwestern.

Last week’s tournament also proved both the strength and depth of the men’s roster, as the Irish beat the competition even though several of the team’s top competitors did not compete. Additionally, eight different fencers gave double-digit win performances, including junior epeeist Patrick Gettings and freshman epeeist Karol Kostka.

“I think [the Notre Dame Duals] made people feel good about their [skills] and it will show when we go to Ohio State,” freshman sabre Ashley Serrette said. “We are pretty confident that we can use our [experience] to do well against the rest of the competition this weekend.”

Among the teams in the Duals the Irish will face this weekend are foes Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

However, the Irish will be competing without top fencers such as juniors Amy Orlando and Valerie Providenza, who are currently competing in Paris at the Junior World Competition.

At the Notre Dame Duals, Providenza began the competition 11-0 after suffering a couple of defeats against Duke. Orlando found success as she defeated two-time NCAA epee champion Anna Garina of Wayne State.

Despite the disadvantage, the Irish remain confident they will pull out wins against the competition.

“They are club teams like those we competed at the Notre Dame Duals and a lot of them were beginners because they don’t fence varsity athletes and have trouble getting recruits,” Serrette said. “So we shouldn’t have too many problems and we are just looking to give everyone on our team a chance to compete.”

Following the conclusion of this weekend’s bouts, the Irish will head to the UC San Diego Duals in San Diego, Calif. on Feb. 11.