Notre Dame honors late coach with home meet
Rebecca Rogalski | Thursday, February 6, 2014
The Irish will host their annual home meet, recently renamed the DeCicco Duals, this weekend at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.
This year’s meet has extra significance for the Irish fencing program, as it is the first year that the tournament is named after former Irish coach Mike DeCicco, who passed away last spring.
“We will fence this weekend in honor of Coach DeCicco,” Irish coach Janusz Bednarski said. “He had a huge influence on both the program and the university, which fuels many of the fencers’ motivations to do well in this weekend’s bouts.”
Though the Irish have built momentum heading into the weekend, the team will no doubt be tested, with an important match against rival Penn State on Saturday.
“It will not be easy, as we have some various good teams, such as Penn State, coming into town,” Bednarski said. “For several years, Penn State has received more medals than we have, so it will be like a revenge for the past to beat them this weekend.”
Penn State and other schools will compete against the Irish, such as Ohio State, Wayne State and Northwestern.
Last weekend, senior captain Gerek Meinhardt and a number of other Irish fencers were absent at the Northwestern Duals while aiming to qualify for the World Championships and the Olympic games, but they will all be returning this weekend to compete in the DeCicco Duals.
“With our top fencers back, the team is exceptionally confident heading into this tournament,” Coach Bednarski said. “Having Meinhardt back on the men’s foil squad, as well as having sophomore Lee Kiefer and junior Madison Zeiss back on the women’s foil squad, will benefit us immensely in the foil matches.”
The Irish will aim for success on their home turf, fencing for their ranking as well as in honor of Coach DeCicco.
“All the fencers we have competing will be in good shape, so I don’t expect there to be many problems from the squad,” Coach Bednarski said. “The DeCicco Duals is a very important competition to us, and we would like to show everyone just how skilled we really are and achieve success this weekend.”
The DeCicco Duals begin Saturday morning at the Castellan Family Fencing Center
Contact Rebecca Rogalski at [email protected]