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Fencing: Montoya, Irish roll to sweep in ND Duals

Ken Fowler | Monday, February 11, 2008

The Irish threw on the cruise control and coasted to an easy sweep in the Notre Dame Duals this weekend.

Junior epeeist Kim Montoya led the Irish effort with an unbeaten performance. Montoya finished 27-0 and earned her 150th career win after her opponent withdrew before her final bout. Montoya, though, wasn’t focusing on her 150h victory.

“I’m just happy that I went undefeated,” she said.

Montoya’s wins came in the Joyce Center against fencers from Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Florida, among others. The junior finished 26-0, including a win over 2007 NCAA finalist Justyna Konczalska, of Wayne State.

“That was the biggest achievement of Montoya – that she beat someone of a bigger name and show that name doesn’t matter,” Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said. “And it builds confidence for the others.”

Montoya, sophomore walk-on Vanessa Rosa and senior walk-on Nikki Lubold were Notre Dame’s only women epeeists for the event because sophomore Kelley Hurley and freshman Ewa Nelip competed in Europe.

That meant the trio had no substitutes for its nine dual matches. For Lubold, who saw her first NCAA action, and the limited-in-experience Rosa, endurance was the big issue.

They held up just fine.

Besides Montoya’s perfect afternoon, Lubold went 14-13 in bouts against varsity teams, and Rosa went 13-14.

“It was a pleasure to see them bouting,” Bednarski said.

The Irish women and men each beat all nine of their opponents, with the women’s foil squad leading the charge.

Senior Rachel Cota, junior Adi Nott, junior Emilie Prot and freshman Hayley Reese combined for a 78-3 bout record.

On the men’s side, senior foilist Jakub Jedrkowiak went 8-0 and in the process earned career victory No. 150. Meanwhile, freshman epeeist Chris Pfarr went 15-1 and epee classmate Andy Seroff finished 15-2.

“We expected to do this, but the expectations aren’t alwayshold on what the results are,” Bednarski said.

The event was Notre Dame’s final true regular season event. Members of the squad will travel to Charlotte, N.C., next weekend for the Junior Olympics. After that, the Irish host the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships from Feb. 23-24.

Bednarski likes the trajectory his team is on.

“I think it was a good meet for them preparing for the Midwest Championships and the end of the season,” Bednarski said.