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ND Fencing wins five of six weapons at NCAA Regionals

| Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Fencing competed in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Columbus, Ohio, last Saturday, their final outing before they host the NCAA Championships starting March 24. Notre Dame came away with wins in five of the six weapons, and an additional six medals as they continued their excellent form from the ACC Championships.

The Irish entered the weekend as heavy favorites against a field that included many of their regular-season rivals. Northwestern and hosts Ohio State offered the biggest test for the defending national champions. Despite this, in seven matches against the Wildcats and Buckeyes during the regular season, Notre Dame’s team went a combined 6-1 with the only loss coming against Northwestern back in January.

The Irish lived up to expectations as 11 of their 19 fencers left Columbus with a medal. Women’s epee was an especially dominant weapon, with all three Irish fencers placing on the podium. The trio was led by freshman Kaylin Sin Yan Hsieh, who went 14-1 to finish ahead of teammates senior Miriam Grady and sophomore Amanda Pirkowski, who each won 13 bouts to earn the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Women’s saber also saw a dominant performance from sophomore Atara Greenbaum, who went 15-1 en route to winning the gold medal for the Irish. Fellow sabers freshman Jadeyn Williams and senior Kara Linder finished just off the podium in fourth and fifth, respectively. Women’s foil was the only weapon where the Irish failed to win gold, but freshman Nicole Pustilnik claimed the silver and freshman Rebeca Candescu the bronze.

On the men’s side, Notre Dame won all three weapons, locking out the top two in saber and foil. In the saber, senior Jared Smith kept the momentum from his ACC Championship win, going 11-1 to claim the gold. His only loss came against his teammate, sophomore Luke Linder who went 10-2 and won the silver.

The foil saw senior Nick Itkin win the gold with a perfect 13-0 record, the only fencer without a loss on Saturday. He was followed by fellow senior Andrew Machovec who went 10-3 and won the silver. Junior Marcello Olivares went 9-4 to finish fourth in what is Notre Dame’s best weapon on the men’s side.

The final Irish medalist was senior Stephen Ewart who went 15-1 and won the gold for Notre Dame in the epee. Of the five Irish epeeists at the meet, the next best Irish finisher was junior ACC runner-up Hunter Candreva who finished fifth overall.

Notre Dame Fencing will be back in action when they host the NCAA Championships March 24 to 27 and seek to defend their titles at the Castellan Family Fencing Center.

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