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2022 Baraka Bouts Semifinals

Ring A Results

Ring B Results

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Baraka Bouts Ring A: Semifinal results

By Lucia Aguzzi and Olivia Schatz

The semifinals of the 2022 Baraka Bouts tournament took place Thursday night. These are the results from Ring A. Final rounds take place Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

Kim “The Grillmaster” Nguyen of Walsh Hall def. Kaitlin “Mo Pain” Mohlenkamp of Badin Hall

In the first round, Nguyen came in strong on the offensive against Mohlenkamp, who deflected punch after punch. After a few hits from Nguyen, she was able to get in two strong jabs, quickly ducking from another hit. “The Grillmaster” continued to jab quickly anytime she could in the second round, chasing “Mo Pain” around the ring. The third round saw both fighters consistently deflect punches and get jabs in against the other, and the fight seemed to be an even battle between the two. In the end, Nguyen did enough to win the fight by a split decision among the judges.

Lindsey “Smol Ranger” Michie def. Olivia “Mad Dog” Mancuso of Howard Hall

The first round started off with Michie jabbing repeatedly at Mancuso, who fought back, but continuously was knocked off her stance. “Smol Ranger” came at Mancuso strongly with several body shots, pushing her to the edge of the ring. “Mad Dog” eventually got her footing after landing several punches on Michie as well. In the second round, Michie continued to land jabs on Mancuso, who was backed into the corners of the ring a few times. The third round was an aggressive fight between the two, with the referee having to separate the fighters a few times. Ultimately, “Smol Ranger” won the fight by unanimous decision. 

Monica “Mc4” Caponigro of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Martha “The Menace” Gluck of Howard Hall

Gluck started the fight landing a few hard jabs on Caponigro, but “Mc4” quickly proved to be a match for the veteran fighter. They circled the ring for the duration of the first round, with Gluck hitting Caponigro with body shots toward the end. In the second round, both fighters came on aggressively, with each hitting the other with several head jabs. “The Menace” was able to push Caponigro around the ring, but “Mc4” deflected and was able to land body shots on Gluck. The third round was a very quick jab session between the two, neither landing strong punches, but rather engaging in a continuous fight. Caponigro’s hits on Gluck proved to be enough to sway the judges for a split-decision victory in her favor. 

Emily “Enemy Jane” Nowak of McGlinn Hall def. Amber “The Bulldog” May 

Nowak started off the first round with consistent jabs at May, but “The Bulldog” seemed to expertly duck against many hits from “Enemy Jane.” May eventually was hit with a number of head punches from Nowak, and continuously lost her footing, prompting the judge to split the two up. The second round saw much of the same, with “Enemy Jane” landing punch after punch to May’s head. In the third round, “The Bulldog” struggled to land punches, but continued to duck and deflect from her opponent as well. The decision, however, was a unanimous victory for Nowak. 

Lily “The Chelsea Dagger” Whitman of Lyons Hall def. Luzolo “Power Fist” Matundu of Farley Hall 

The first round started off with powerful swings from Whitman. Matundu would not be silenced, and she would quickly respond with hits of her own. Whitman would throw multiple hits in a row, sending Matundu back. With a few seconds left, Whitman sent Matundu into her corner. The second round started off just as the first, with both boxers throwing hard hits. One from Whitman would force a break from the ref. Whitman would not give up, and would immediately corner Matundu with a series of hits. Matundu, again, would not lie, landing multiple punches of her own. Both competitors came out hot again in the third round. Whitman and Matundu were throwing heavy punches up until the bell, but by unanimous decision, Whitman would win. 

Lauren “Blondie” Buetow of Flaherty Hall def. Maggie “Thunderstruck” Langheim

Langheim came out hot, with multiple hits to Buetow. But, Buetow quickly found her rhythm and sent a series of hits toward her competitor. One jab to the face would send Buetow back a few steps, and Langheim would pounce, sending Buetow back and around the ring. It was then Buetow’s turn, and she would send Langheim into the corner as the bell rang. Langheim would open up the match again, raining punches on Buetow. After a ref-mandated break, Buetow would seem to find some footing and would land multiple hits on Langheim. Round three again saw aggressive hits from both competitors. Quickly, however, Langeim would hit Buetow into the ropes. Buetow would respond again by sending Langeim into the ropes, this time, however, Langheim would be able to escape it. Both women were fighting til the bell, and after a hard-fought match, Buetow won by split decision. 

JJ “Soldier Boy” Jorgensen of Lewis Hall def. Molly “MC Hammer” Caplice of Flaherty Hall def.

Both women were moving quickly around the ring for the start of the first round. Jorgensen would land some major hits on Caplice to force a break. The second round opened up with a quick jab missed by Caplice. Jorgensen would take advantage of this and retaliate with a flurry of swings. A swing from Jorgensen would cause another break. Jorgensen would not give up, and after the concussion check, she would continue to land punch after punch on her opponent. Neither boxer would rest going into the third round. Jorgensen would send Caplice into the ropes for the final bell, and by unanimous decision, “Soldier Boy” was declared the winner. 

Ellie “The Hammer” Hammerschmitt of Pasquerilla East Hall def. Hannah “Happle Apple” Vespalec of Welsh Family Hall

Hammerschmitt started the match by punching down on the ducking Vespalec. “The Hammer” would attempt to send Vespalec into the corner, but Vespalec was able to duck out of it. Hammerschmitt would not let up and continued to send multiple hits into her opponent. Again, Hammerschmitt would start the round by sending a series of hits against Vespalec, eventually sending her to the floor.

After a quick break, Hammerschmitt was back at it and sent Vespalec this time into the ropes. Throughout the rest of the round, Hammerschmitt was sending jabs and punches toward her opponents, and Vespalec was forced against the ropes. Hammerschmitt sent Vespalec quickly into the corner at the start of the third round. The ref called time for holding on to Hammerschmitt, but she would not let this stop her. And, at the end of the third round, by split decision, Hammerschmitt took the crown. 

Jessica “The Adjudicator” Vickery of Ryan Hall def. Gabi “Texan Perfection” Cano of Pasquerilla West Hall 

The final match of the night started off hot. Cano sent a flurry of jabs toward Vickery before Vickery would send Cano a few of her own. Both fighters were fast with their punches and sent a series of hits before taking a step back. Cano was able to dodge some of Vickery’s swings, but the bell would ring as Vickery was on the offense. It was Vickery’s turn to start the match with hits of her own.

But, Cano would send some, forcing a stumble from Vickery. Vickery would then retaliate, and land multiple powerful swings. This would eventually send Cano to the ground. For the last round, both women gave it their all. With the entire arena now cheering for their corner, the energy was palpable. Vickery would send a series of quick hits, and in return, Cano would send some of her own. Both boxers were swinging til the final bell when Vickery sent Cano into the ropes, and by unanimous decision, Vickery was named champion. 

Contact Lucia Aguzzi at laguzzi@nd.edu and Olivia Schatz at oschatz.edu.

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Baraka Bouts: Ring B quarterfinal results

The 20th Annual Baraka Bouts commenced on Monday, Nov. 1o. These are the quarterfinal results for Ring B.

Katherine “Bend It Like” Beckman of Howard Hall def. Xiaotong “Michelle” Yuan 

The first fight of the night in Ring B opened with both boxers stepping out on the offensive with flurries of punches. Using her slightly taller frame, Beckman was able to land some hits to the head at the end of the first round. Beckman came out swinging at the beginning of the second round, but Yuan continued to swing back as well. With a loud crowd behind her, Beckman kept landing hits on Yuan, eventually leading to a stoppage near the end of the third round. Beckman won out of the gold corner by unanimous decision. 

Frankie “Frank the Tank” Masciopinto of McGlinn Hall def. MC “Can’t Touch This” Elliot of Walsh Hall

The first round of this bout opened up fairly evenly between freshman Elliot and junior Masciopinto. Both women landed their fair share of hits until Masciopinto began to wear Elliot down with stronger footwork, harder punches and a dominant stance. The bout remained fairly even until Masciopinto eventually overpowered Elliot in the third round by swinging without any breaks. By unanimous decision, junior captain Mascipinto won the bout with an aggressive start-to-finish performance. 

Chiara “French Thunder” Thrum of Lewis Hall def. Maddie “Murph” Murphy of Cavanaugh Hall

Out of the gate, Thrum shook down the thunder with quick, hard punches throughout both the first and second rounds, leaving Murphy on the defensive and unable to deliver many solid hits to Thrum. At the third round bell, Murphy changed the tides with a series of jabs to Thrum, leaving the latter flustered. The late offensive wind, though, was not enough for Murphy to take home the win, with Thrum winning the bout by unanimous decision.

Mary “Red Sky” Quirk of Ryan Hall def. Teresa “T-Bone” Cato of Ryan Hall

This fight between two boxers representing Ryan Hall escalated quickly with both women stepping into the ring prepared to fight on the offensive. With both swinging hard and consistently, a fairly even first round grew into a slight advantage for Quirk in the second as Cato grew fatigued. An already loud crowd grew deafening in the third round as Quirk pushed Cato stumbling into the ropes. After a reset, a few solid hits solidified the bout in Quirk’s favor by unanimous decision. 

Luisa “Karma” Capobianco of Welsh Family Hall def. Ari “The Jurk” Jurkowitz of McGlinn Hall 

The first round saw Capobianco coming out hot, forcing Jurkowitz on the defense. This only lasted for a few seconds, though, as the two danced around the middle of the ring before it was Jurkowitz’s time to attack. The two went back and forth in the first round. The second round again saw Capobianco on the offense, landing multiple hits before pushing Jurkowitz into the corner. The atmosphere was electric as fans for both sides cheered on their competitor. In the third round, Jurkowitz stumbled back after a series of hits from Capobianco. Capobianco would again attempt to corner Jurkowitz, however, she resisted, and the two continued to battle. Ultimately, by unanimous decision, Capobianco was named the winner. 

Sarah “Midshipmenace” Nowak of Welsh Family Hall def. Clary “Scary” Conroy of Pasquerilla West 

Tensions were high at the start of this match, with both competitors throwing hard and fast. Conroy was thrown into the corner before quickly answering and knocking Nowak into the ropes. After a brief pause, both women were back at it. Conroy was saving her energy on the defensive before finding a moment to strike. It was Nowak throwing punches though at the end of the round. The second round again saw both competitors giving it their all. It was Nowak’s turn to push Conroy into the ropes, however, Conroy quickly hit her way out of it. Just as in the first round, the bell rang as Nowak was cornering her opponent. The third round saw Nowak start on the defensive. However, the aggressiveness didn’t subside, and the ref separated them multiple times throughout the round. By split decision, Nowak was crowned winner.  

Lauren “Blondie” Buetow of Flaherty Hall def. Chevelle “Not Even A Little Bit Sorry” Boomershine 

It was Buetow who had the first hit of the match. Boomershine attempted to fight back but was knocked into the ropes by her opponent. In the second match, it was Boomershine’s time; she started the round on the offense, landing multiple hits that forced Buetow back. Buetow instantly retaliated, also knocking Boomershine back. Not only did Buetow come swinging right out of the gates in the third round, but throughout the match, she remained on offense. Anytime Boomershine would have an opening, Buetow would respond in a series of hits, and by unanimous decision, Buetow was named the winner.

Kiera “Red Lightning” Judd of McGlinn Hall def. Ola “The Phantom” Abdalsalam

It was clear how Judd got her nickname as she instantly started the round with a series of quick punches. Abdalsalam was forced into the ropes, and the referee called a break. Another series of hits sent Abdalsalam on the floor. Abdalsalam started the second round with good defense, but Judd was able to break through, sending “The Phantom” into the corner for the fifth time of the night. Abdalsalam was not letting the past rounds affect her, however, and she started the round with a series of punches. Judd would retaliate, sending Abdulsalam to the ground for the second time of the night. The end of the match saw the competitors nod to each other, and Judd was named winner by unanimous decision. 

Caroline “Wasian Persuasion” Landry of Lewis Hall def. Vivienne “The Oblivion” Dragun of Walsh Hall

This match saw both competitors swinging hard, fast and early. Landry landed the first solid hit of the match, but Dragun would not lie idly. Landry would accidentally knock Dragun’s mouthguard out, pausing the match. When the competitors returned, Landry hit a series of punches. Dragun hit back, this time sending Landry backward. The second round again saw both women swinging hard. With ten seconds left, Landry would land multiple hits, but Dragun would swing back, forcing Landry to stumble back again. Both competitors were just as aggressive at the start of the third round, but this time, Landry hit Dragun into the corner. After a mandated break, it was Dragun’s turn to land some punches, but ultimately Landry would win by unanimous decision. 

Emma “Slay-Ferino” Solferino of Lewis Hall def. Nadine “Sweet Hands” Hashem

Solferino was the first to land a punch, and while Hashem would not waiver, Solferino’s hits were endless. It was Hashem’s time to shine in the second round, as she came out hard. However, after a brief pause from the ref, Solferino responded with a series of hits. Hashem then landed a hit directly to Solferino’s face. Solferino would respond, but the clock stopped them before anything else could happen. The third round started off evenly between the competitors, but Solferino was able to push Hashem back with a series of hits. By unanimous decision, Solferino won. 

Luzolo Matundu of Farley Hall def. Kiara “Kiki” Gutierrez Forbes

Matundu got Gutierrez off her feet quickly with her first flurry of punches that forced another stumble which sent her tripping through the ropes early. Matundu would start in again soon after and her quick punches mixed with a misstep from Gutierrez sent the Nicaragua native to the floor. By referee stopped contest in the first round, Matundu took the win. 

Jessica “The Adjudicator” Vickery of Ryan Hall def. Lauren “6 Foot Hero” Barnes of Johnson Family Hall

The pair started an even match, both landing a flurry of punches throughout the first round. What Vickery lacked in height she made up for in speed, landing punches to Barnes’ face and body but when Barnes could stay out of her reach, she landed a few of her own. Barnes opened the second round with a combination but once she got close enough, Vickery stuck a flurry of punches to her. Vickery got Barnes on the ropes about halfway through the round and maintained the rest of the round after that. Barnes opened the third again but Vickery blocked a few of them before Barnes started in on her again, knocking her to the ground. After a quick count, a tired Vickery was back in before Barnes took the round over. It wasn’t enough though as Vickery took the round by split decision. 

Cece “Ginga Ninja” Giarman of Lewis Hall def. Sara “Speed and Violence” Vechinski of Walsh Hall

Giarman struck first against her fellow California native. After Giarman backed her into a corner, Vechinski received a count. Coming out of it, Vechinski landed a few of her own but Giarman’s intense left hook came back to bite as the first round closed. The second round started more evenly but it was Giarman’s mastery of the hook that remained the dominant punch in the fight. However, it would be Vechinski who got the last strike in the round. The third round saw two tired boxers, both of them landing a last set of solid punches but with one more right hook, Giarman won by split decision.

Jenny “The Big Bad” Wolf of Johnson Family Hall def. Hope “Twinkle Toes” Wanken of Lewis Hall

Wolf came out of her corner on the hunt, landing the first flurry of punches and keeping up with Wanken. Relying heavily on her right hook, Wolf connected with Wanken several times to close the first round. Wolf got Wanken on her heels again to start the second before Wanken landed her own combo. Seconds later, Wolf took one more set for herself. Wanken put everything into the last round, coming out of her corner and backing Wolf into her own or against the ropes several times. Wolf’s hook wouldn’t let up though and, by split decision, she won. 

Martha “The Menace” Gluck of Howard Hall def. Maeve “The Menace” Murdock of Pasquerilla East Hall

The first round remained even the whole way through with Gluck and Murdock exchanging punch for punch almost identically. Coming out in the second, Gluck took over for the first half but the round evened again shortly after until Gluck found a second wind to close the round. Gluck took control again early in the third. After a jab-hook combination from Gluck, Murdock received a count just before the round ended. By unanimous decision, Gluck ultimately won.

Ocean “The Matador” Leto of Welsh Family Hall def. Caroline “Bah Bah Bah” Flannery of Ryan Hall

The first round started evenly with strong defensive capabilities from both fighters but just as the round closed, Leto began to break through. Coming out in the second, Flannery threw some successful combinations backing Leto up before a right hook from Leto got Flannery on the run for Leto to get a set of her own punches in. The beginning of the third belonged to Leto who kept Flannery on the run the whole round. When Flannery could keep her still, she landed a few on Leto but it wasn’t enough. By unanimous decision, Leto won the bout.

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President Rachel Salamone leads club in commitment and discipline

Senior Rachel Salamone remembers when she was one of the last few people to finish workouts during her freshman year of Baraka Bouts.

“I didn’t think I had a great grasp on the workouts themselves and that it was a do-it-as-fast-as-you-can type of thing for some of them,” she says.

One of the captains took Salamone under her wing and would finish the workouts alongside her. Eventually, Salamone stuck around long enough to become president of the club for the 2022-23 year. 

“I just kept coming and kept coming, and it was really fun to learn a new skill.”

Originally from Hebron, Conn., Salamone lives in Cavanaugh Hall and studies political science with minors in data science and cybersecurity. She says she originally heard of Baraka Bouts from a former high school classmate and then signed up for the club at the annual activities fair.

“I went to the Activities Fair and I saw them throwing mitts and I was like, ‘that is just the absolute coolest thing that I’ve seen in my life,’” she says.

This year’s bouts will be just Salamone’s second time competing in the ring. Bronchitis kept her out freshman year, and the pandemic disrupted her second year. Just earlier this season, Salamone suffered a concussion in sparring practice, but has been cleared to fight in the tournament. 

“​​I’ve felt like I’m further back than I was when I got [the concussion],” she said. “But I’m excited.”

In the ring though, she is known as Rachel “Same Hat” Salamone, a reference dating back to her freshman year in the club.

“There is this little comic strip about these two guys wearing the same hat,” she said. “They just kind of point at each other. When I was a freshman, I met a senior who had very short hair and I also had at the time had really short hair. So I was like, oh, ‘same hat.’”

Reflecting on her first time fighting last season, Salamone says there’s nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of stepping in the ring the first time, saying it’s like a “dream.”

“You can’t not be nervous,” she added.

As president, Salamone holds a largely administrative role for the largest women’s club on campus — comprised of about 250 students — and ensures everything runs smoothly from 6 a.m. practices to the annual tournament. 

Given that she was a junior captain last year, Salamone knew almost certainly she would be in a leadership role for the club this year. But, there are some elements that were hard to anticipate, including logistical elements of setting up rings and organizing announcers.

The club holds its new boxer orientation in August, with practices starting the first week of September, Salamone says. From there, members have about two months to learn combinations and prepare for the tournament. Before joining, most boxers, including Salamone, don’t have previous experience competing in the sport. And while the club has official coaches, this is where captains step up and teach younger boxers the skills they’ve learned over the years. 

Even though not everyone participates in the bouts, Salamone says it’s rewarding as a leader to see members improve their strength and skillset over the season.

“I think so many of the girls have seen that difference where you just keep showing up and every day you get 1% better,” she said.

While it’s a club sport, the women of Baraka Bouts do more than just box. Each year, they fundraise for the Holy Cross Lake View Secondary School in Jinja, Uganda, and Saint Joseph’s Hill Secondary School in Kyarusozi, Uganda. The goal this year, Salamone says, is to raise $75,000 to build new student dormitories at St. Joseph’s Hill, where some students currently do not have private rooms.

Salamone explained that the fundraising mission of the club only enhances the reason to train and compete.

“Sure, it’s this huge athletic club, but there’s also this kind of fundraising and supporting human development and education and things like that around the world where it’s not just about you even though you’re working so much on yourself too,” Salamone said.

Looking ahead to after the end of her time in Baraka Bouts, Salamone says she’s already looked into boxing clubs in the city she’s living in after graduation. But for now, the upcoming tournament might be her last competition.

“I don’t think it would be something where I would want to keep sparring,” she said. “I think this is a good kind of end of the road in terms of sparring and competing.”

The Baraka Bouts quarterfinals will begin Monday night in Dahnke Ballroom at 7 p.m., with the semifinals and finals taking place on Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, respectively.

Contact Alysa Guffey at aguffey@nd.edu.