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Fencing: Notre Dame dominates at Regionals

Michael Todisco | Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Irish began NCAA postseason play on a high note over spring break, as both the men’s and women’s squads put forth strong performances at the regional competition. In total, Notre Dame captured 13 of the possible 18 medals at the event, including four of six gold medals.

The women competed first, earning six medals on March 12. The Irish dominated both the foil and sabre, taking gold and silver in each weapon. Freshman Rachel Beck led the foil by winning gold while senior Haley Reese took silver. In the sabre, senior Eileen Hassett took gold while sophomore Abigail Nichols earned silver. The Irish also took silver and bronze in the epee, led by senior Ewa Nelip and junior Courtney Hurley, respectively.

By virtue of winning gold, Beck and Hassett earned automatic qualifications to the 2011 NCAA championships.

The men competed the following day, taking seven medals. The Irish supremacy at the foil was in full display, as Notre Dame took all three medals in the event. Freshman Ariel DeSmet took the gold, followed by junior teammates Enzo Castelleni and Reggie Bentley, who won silver and bronze, respectively.

The men also took the top two awards in the sabre, with senior Avery Zuck winning gold and fellow senior Barron Nydam taking silver. In the epee, sophomore James Kaull took the silver and senior Brent Kelly won the bronze.

In all, the Irish took at least two out of the three possible medals in every weapon during both the men’s and women’s events.

Notre Dame next competes when it travels to Ohio State Wednesday through Sunday for the NCAA championships.