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ND Fencing: Irish travel to face nation’s best

Matthew Robison | Thursday, November 18, 2010

The No. 1 Irish will travel to Milwaukee this weekend to compete in the United States Fencing Association’s North American Cup Nov. 19-22 in hopes of proving themselves once again the nation’s top team.

The North American Cup traditionally is one of the strongest fields of competitors in the country, and although Notre Dame will not compete as a team, they will have several individuals competing in this year’s competition. The tournament’s results will not affect the collegiate rankings, but it will give Notre Dame the opportunity to prove their excellence across the division weapons.

The Irish are coming off of a weekend-long competition at No. 2 Penn State last weekend where sophomore Reggie Bentley earned a bronze medal in the men’s foil competition and junior Ewa Nelip finished 29th of 136 competitors. Freshman Lian Osler (women’s sabre) and junior Greg Schoolcraft (men’s epee) both finished fourth in their respective weapons.

Notre Dame made a strong standing at the Cup last year as sophomore Courtney Hurley finished 13th in a field of 168 competitors in the epee division. Her sister, Kelley, a 2010 graduate who went on to win the gold, eliminated Hurley from the competition. Now that her familial foe is no longer in the competition, the Irish will look to Hurley to make a run at the gold.

In the FIE World Championships in Paris earlier this month, Hurley took 61st of 136 competitors. It was also announced at the World Championships that she won the World Cup Trophy for the best junior epeeist during the 2009-10 season.

Junior Diane Zielinski took 70th in the North American Cup last year in the women’s epee while sophomore James Kaull finished an impressive 33rd of 211 competitors in the men’s.

Competition will begin today and continue until Nov. 22.