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Fencing: Irish fencers impress at Northwestern Duals

Mike Monaco | Sunday, February 5, 2012

The No. 4 men’s squad and No. 3 women’s team combined to go 12-2 at the Northwestern Duals on Saturday. The day’s only blemishes were a pair of one-point losses, one for each side of the team.

“We’re all very happy about the outcome of the tournament,” senior epeeist Diane Zielinski said. “The level of competition was much harder than the previous weekend at the [Notre Dame] Duals. We have improved as a team and our losses [this weekend] were extremely close, which shows how much potential our team has.”

The women’s squad (25-6) followed up an undefeated weekend at the Notre Dame Duals with a 7-1 showing in Evanston, Ill. The Irish split their two opening matches, a 17-10 win against North Carolina and a close 14-13 loss to Duke, before winning their final six matches against Stanford, UC San Diego, Temple, Cal Tech, Princeton and Stevens Tech.

“There are still areas of improvement to be made,” Zielinski said. “Our coaches and captains have been working collaboratively in our relentless effort to defend our championship.”

The men’s team (29-6) went 5-1 on the day against some stiff competition. The Irish opened the Northwestern Duals with wins against Duke, UC San Diego and North Carolina before facing Princeton.

The Tigers downed Notre Dame 14-13 in a match that came down to wire. An epee battle between two longtime rivals decided the match as Irish junior James Kaull fell to Princeton junior Jonathan Yergler. Yergler, a two-time All-American, earned a 5-3 victory in a hard-fought match.

“I have been competing with Jonathan Yergler since I was eight years old,” Kaull said. “The number of close bouts we have had against each other is probably in the hundreds. The bout this weekend is a continuation of that rivalry. This weekend he beat me, [but] I will use this bout to better my preparation for NCAA Championships.”

Kaull carried the Irish epeeists and finished with an 8-3 record at the Northwestern Duals. Senior Reggie Bentley led the way for the foilists with nine wins, while sophomore Kevin Hassett went 11-2 to pace the sabreurs.

The women’s team will travel to Durham, N.C. to try their luck against the Blue Devils again on Saturday. The men are off until Feb. 17, when they will join the women’s team for the USFA National Junior Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.



Contact Mike Monaco at [email protected]