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Fencing: Top teams get best of Irish

Ken Fowler | Monday, January 29, 2007

All wasn’t right for the Irish.

A week after finishing 16-1 in the Notre Dame Duals at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame posted a 7-5 combined record in the NYU Duals Sunday at the Coles Sports Center.

The No. 4 Irish women went 4-2, highlighted by a thrilling 14-13 victory over No. 5 Northwestern. Senior epeeist Amy Orlando – a key figure in Notre Dame’s comeback win over Ohio State last week – won 4-3 in sudden death over Wildcats freshman Christa French for the deciding point.

The Notre Dame women also posted an easier, 16-11 win over No. 6 St. John’s. The Irish fell 15-12 to Columbia-Barnard, while the Ohio State women returned the favor from the Notre Dame Duals to the Irish with a 14-13 win on neutral territory.

The No. 5 Irish men went 3-3, falling to each top-10 team they faced while beating Stevens Tech, Yale and the host squad. Yale and NYU received votes in the most recent U.S. Fencing Coaches Association Top-10 poll.

Stevens Tech participated only on the men’s side and fell 17-10 to Notre Dame.

Columbia, which finished fifth in the 2006 NCAA Championships, topped Notre Dame in both dual meets. The No. 2 Lions beat the No. 4 Irish 15-2, and the No. 4 Columbia men’s team earned a come-from-behind victory over the No. 5 Irish.

Notre Dame took an 11-9 lead with seven bouts remaining, but Columbia posted a furious comeback that included five straight wins for a 15-12 decision.

The Irish tore through the host squad, beating the Violet men and women by identical 21-6 marks. The Violet women went 0-6 on the day, while the men were 2-3.

Notre Dame beat Yale 22-5 on the men’s side and 19-8 on the women’s side.

Two fencers at opposite ends of their college careers were Notre Dame’s top performers in New York.

Men’s senior sabre Patrick Ghattas and women’s freshman epeeist Kelley Hurley each finished the competition 17-1 in the day’s bouts.

The Observer was unable to contact Irish coach Janusz Bednarski Sunday.