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Fencing: Individuals compete for Irish

Peter Steiner | Monday, November 5, 2012

The Irish continued their preseason schedule over the weekend with competition in the Garret Penn State Open on Saturday and Sunday.

Fencing against the some of the nation’s top competition, Notre Dame left University Park, Penn., with 10 top-eight finishes between the men’s and women’s teams.

“I think we did very well,” senior James Kaull said. “I think it was a really encouraging tournament. It’s still very early on in the season so just want to see strong performances and a strong effort so I think everyone really gave that.”

With the men’s team competing Sunday, senior Jason Choy led the way in the saber event, bringing home a second-place finish. Junior Kevin Hassett followed Choy, ending in fifth. In men’s epee, junior Michael Rossi and Kaull placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Though Choy was the sole medalist on the men’s team, two medalists emerged from the women’s team on Saturday as sophomores Nicole Ameli and Ashley Severson placed second and third in the women’s epee, respectively. The women’s team also received solid efforts from seniors Abigail Nichols and Lian Osier in the saber event. The pair earned fourth and fifth place, respectively.

“Nicole Ameli got second in epee and Ashley Severson got third in the epee and that was probably the most encouraging of all the results at the tournament,” Kaull said.

The 41st annual Garret Open included nine top fencing schools from around the United States. As a result, the Irish fencers could not take any opponent for granted, Kaull said.

“[The competition] was strong,” Kaull said. “There are no easy bouts in that tournament. Everyone has some level of skill. Every bout requires your utmost effort and requires you to pay attention. You just can’t walk over anybody.”

Similar to the Notre Dame Invitational last weekend against Ohio State in the Castellan Family Fencing Center, the event at Penn State served as a tune-up for the approaching regular season.

“A preseason tournament like this serves as a check,” Kaull said. “It’s just really an assessment of where you are in the year. You learn what you got beat on in this tournament and you try to cover up those holes moving forward.”


Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected]