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Fencing

Kvaratskhelia comments on Notre Dame’s dominant ACC Championships performance

| Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams posted a strong performance in the ACC Championship over the weekend at home at the Castellan Family Fencing Center, in which they swept the field entirely, achieving every championship title up for grabs. After the meet, Irish head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia spoke with The Observer about his squad’s dominating performance.

Hannah Huelskamp

Irish junior sabre Christina, left, guards herself during the DeCicco Duals on Jan. 26 at Castellan Family Fencing Center.

Speaking on the performance of both the men’s and women’s teams, Kvaratskhelia said he was thrilled with his team’s performance. To win once, as they did last year, is one thing, but to repeat is a testament to the strength of the program.

“Repeating speaks volumes about the work our athletes and coaches have done to get ready,” he said. “The team competition is always hard-fought. I was very impressed with their mindset to not let anyone get in the way of a title.”

Kvaratskhelia also spoke about some of the individuals of the team, specifically sophomore Andrew Machovec, sophomore Alessandro Contreras, sophomore Josiah Broughton, junior Stefani Deschner, sophomore Kara Linder and sophomore Miriam Grady, all of whom took home individual titles over the weekend. Kvaratskhelia kept it simple, giving credit where credit is due — to all of the winning competitors.

“I have to first give a lot of credit to Josiah,” he said. “Fighting through those cramps in the final against a more experienced opponent, and coming through with a win; there’s a reason his teammates were so overjoyed for him. Plus all our other winners have to get the credit for keeping the other five titles here.”

The Irish face a difficult regular season schedule each year, which Kvaratskhelia said prepared the squad for what is to come in the postseason.

“We have one of the toughest schedules in the country for a reason,” he said. “It sets us up for NCAA qualifying, and it prepares us to be at our best for ACCs.”

The Irish will now gear up for the NCAA Championships, which begin March 7 in Detroit.

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