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Fencing: Irish go undefeated at home

Observer Staff Report | Monday, February 25, 2013

In Notre Dame’s final meet before the Midwest Conference Championships, the Irish put on a dominating performance, as the men’s and women’s teams went a combined 13-0 at the Notre Dame Duals at the Castellan Family Fencing Center in the Joyce Center.

The women rolled to a 6-0 record, and six fencers posted undefeated records with at least five decisions, backing up their No. 1 ranking and building off their 3-0 clean sweep at the Duke Duals two weeks ago.

Senior epeeists Courtney Hurley (11-0), sophomore epeeist Nicole Ameli (10-0) and senior epeeist Ewa Nelip (9-0) all had strong performances, as did freshman foil Lee Kiefer (8-0) and sophomore sabreuse Mary Regan (8-0). Still, no one could top sophomore epee Ashley Severson’s record, as she went a dominating 12-0 on the day.

The women’s epee unit was particularly impressive, going 52-2 over the course of the meet, including a combined 18-0 mark against Detroit and No. 7 Northwestern.

The No. 2 men’s team, trying to rebound from a 1-2 mark at the Duke Duals, started off on a rocky note, with a narrow 15-12 win over Cleveland State. The Irish sailed from there, though, earning lopsided defeats over Wayne State, Detroit, Northwestern, Lawrence, Air Force and Chicago.

The Irish did all this without top senior foil Gerek Meinhardt, who won bronze this weekend at the La Coruna World Cup in Spain. Freshman sabreists John Hallsten, junior sabre Kevin Hassett, and senior sabre William McGough each posted 7-0 marks. Junior foil Ariel DeSmet and senior sabre Jason Choy went 6-0 on the day, while sophomore epeeist Dale Purdy added five wins of his own, giving the Irish total of 12 undefeated fencers with at least five decisions.

With Saturday’s victories, the Irish women improved their duals record to 26-1, while the men improved to 19-7 on the year.

The Irish will look to build on this momentum into next weekend, when they host the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships starting on Saturday.