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Fencing: Irish in second after day one of championships

Kevin Baldwin | Friday, March 26, 2010

With the first day of the NCAA finals behind it, No. 1 Notre Dame stands in second place among a field of the nation’s top 20 programs.

Notre Dame trails No. 5 St. John’s by one point, 58-57. Defending champion and No. 2 Penn State is in third, trailing the Irish by three points.

“We have a very strong field and there’s a lot of fighting and drama going on,” Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said. “We will fight the next three days but they are still dangerous and we will have to focus attention on Penn State, we have some very important matches tomorrow.”

Thursday was the first day of the women’s competition and already several fencers have taken leadership roles by setting a standard of excellence in their performance. Junior Sarah Borrman went 12-2 in the sabre while sisters sophomore Courtney Hurley and senior Kelly Hurley put up a characteristic dominant showing in the epee.

Sophomore Darsie Malynn posted eight wins in her first appearance in the NCAA Championship. The young fighter continues to show promise as a rising star on the experienced Irish squad.

“[Malynn] is showing great ambition and it is good learning for next year,” Bednarski said.

The Irish will return to the strips today.

“It was a long day a lot of bouts, a lot of energy and little time to recover, but they are taking their time now to be ready for their finish,” Bednarksi said.

The team remains in high spirits going into the end of competition, the day for which they have spent countless hours training and competing for the last year, Bednarski said.

“We are fighting, we want to win and we will try to do our best and it will take time,” he said. “We have three more days of competition ahead of us.”