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Fencing: Squads post two wins each in NY

Chris Masoud | Monday, January 26, 2009

Making good on his promise earlier in the week that the team would be ready for its intercollegiate opener, head coach Janusz Bednarski and the Irish fencing team emerged victorious at the St. John’s University Duals and the New York University Invitational.

The men and women fencers combined to post a 4-0 record as they opened their seasons at the SJU Duals in Jamaica, New York. The No.1 Irish men rolled past No. 4 Columbia 17-10, followed by a decisive victory over No. 9 St. John’s 18-9.

The Irish were equally successful on the women’s side as the No. 2 women cruised by No. 4 Columbia-Barnard 18-9, before defeating St. John’s by a margin of 18-9.

Led by freshman foiler Enzo Castellani, who amassed five victories in his Irish debut, the men’s win over St. John’s was the 1,200th in program history. Senior Bill Thanhouser and sophomore Avery Zuck each went 2-0 in the sabre division as they piloted the Irish to a 6-3 mark in the weapon.

Highly touted freshman Courtney Hurley kicked off her Notre Dame career with six wins on the day in the epee. Older sister Kelley Hurley and Ewa Nelip each posted 3-0 marks, while Hayley Reese led the women in the foil.

The fencers carried momentum from Saturday’s impressive performance into the NYU Invitational.

The women’s team finished Sunday with a record of 3-2 and an overall record of 5-2 against an impressive field.

The lady fighters were anchored by sophomore Eileen Hassett and senior Adrienne Nott, posting 10 sabre wins and eight foil wins respectively.

Competing against the best squads in the country, the men’s team lived up to its preseason ranking by finishing 5-0 on the day for a perfect 7-0 start to the season.

Crossing sabers against NYU (21-6), No. 3 Ohio State (15-12), Stevens Tech (22-5), Columbia (15-12), and Yale (23-4), the young core once again carried the men to victory.

Continuing his hot streak, Zuck led the way for the men with a 9-1 mark on the day in the men’s sabre. Sophomores Jacob Osborne and Andrew Seroff each had seven wins in the epee weapon.