Ohio State Fencing Travels to Notre Dame Duals This Weekend

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

Jan. 26, 2006

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The owners of the last three national championships will meet again this weekend as the Ohio State fencing squad travels to the Notre Dame Duals at the Joyce Center Fieldhouse in South Bend, Ind., Saturday and Sunday. The Buckeyes, 2004 national champs, will take on opponents from Notre Dame (2003 and 2005 national champs), Cal State Fullerton, Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Duke, Lawrence, Northwestern and Wayne State.

The Buckeyes, who have the nation's No. 1-ranked men's team and the No. 4-ranked women's team, are coming off their first collegiate competition of the season last weekend at the New York University Invitational. The men went 5-0, including a win over the No. 2-ranked Notre Dame men, while the women were 2-3, which included a loss to the No. 1-ranked Notre Dame women.

Following the Notre Dame Duals, the Buckeyes will host the Ohio State Duals in French Field House Feb. 4-5.

For the 2005 season, CS Fullerton finished 14th in the NCAA team standings. High finishers included Rachel Liebing, who placed 13th in women's sabre, and Senta Breden, who placed 18th in women's foil. Cleveland State hosted the CSU Duals Dec. 3, 2005. Both the men's and women's squads swept the meet, beating Bowling Green, Case Western Reserve and Oberlin.

Detroit Mercy's most recent competition was the North American Cup in Pittsburg, Pa., in early January. Freshman Craig Budzynski had his best NAC finish ever at 41st out of 157 in the men's foil. The Titans' only other competitor, senior Jarsolaw Jelinek, finished 18th out of 103 in the men's sabre. The Duke fencing teams opened their season Jan. 22 at the Philadelphia Invitational. The No. 10 men's squad defeated Haverford and Drew and lost to No. 8 Penn and Rutgers. The women's squad came away with three wins against Haverford, Rutgers and Drew, and fell to No. 9 Penn. Lawrence University last competed at the Northwestern University Duals Nov. 19-20, 2005.

No. 7 Northwestern also competed at the NYU Duals, defeating Yale, No. 3 Columbia and NYU, but lost to No. 6 St. John's. Also at the NYU Duals, the Notre Dame men's squad lost to only Ohio State and beat Yale, Columbia, NYU and St. John's. The top-ranked women lost to Columbia but beat Yale, NYU, St. John's and Ohio State.

Wayne State's men's squad lost all four matches at the NYU Duals to St. John's, NYU, Yale and Columbia. Its highest finisher was junior Marek Petraszek, who went 10-2 in men's epee. The women's squad also lost to St. John's, NYU, Yale, and Columbia. Senior Anna Garina led WSU with an 11-1 record in women's epee.

At NYU's Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in New York City last Sunday, the No. 1 ranked OSU men went 5-0, defeating NYU, No. 6 St. John's University, No. 5 Columbia, Yale and No. 2 Notre Dame. Top individual records for the men included Andras Horanyi (foil) at 14-1, Boaz Ellis (foil) at 13-1, Christian Rivera (epee) and Adam Crompton (sabre) at 12-3 and Jason Rogers (sabre) at 11-4.

The No. 4 women's squad went 2-3, which included a win over No. 8 Yale and losses only to Top-10 ranked opponents. Top individual finishers included Eileen Grench (sabre) and Alexandra Obrazcova (epee) at 12-3, Siobhan Byrne (sabre) at 11-4 and Kaela Brendler (epee) at 10-5.

After finishing among the top four in the nation for the past four years, including a second place finish in 2005 and a 2004 national championship, the Buckeyes will seek another title at the 2006 NCAA Championships March 16-19 in Houston, Texas. Ohio State has a total of 23 fencers returning from last year's team (13 men, 10 women), including eight of ten All-Americans.

"We have reached a level with our program that we should be in the Top 5 in the nation every year," head coach Vladimir Nazlymov said. "Our goal is to have an Olympic-level program. We have the talent to be that if our kids are mentally tough, work hard and are disciplined." Nazlymov is in his seventh year with the Buckeyes and has a combined record of 229-70 at Ohio State.

Last season at the Notre Dame Duals, Ohio State competed against Cal State Fullerton, Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Lawrence, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wayne State and Wisconsin. The OSU men's team suffered their first and only regular season loss of the season to Penn State, but beat the other 10 teams to move to 14-1 on the season. The women's team improved to 14-1 overall, losing only to Notre Dame, which also marked the OSU women's only regular season setback.

The Buckeyes currently have 14 fencers appearing in the latest national rankings from US Fencing, including seven in the Top 10. Rogers is now the nation's No. 1 senior division men's saber fencer. Joining him in the Top 10 from the men's squad is Crompton at No. 4 in saber; Momtselidze at No. 7 in saber; Horanyi at No. 4 in the foil and junior Christian Rivera at No. 8 in epee. Also appearing in the rankings is junior Jason Paul at No. 28 in saber; Dimitri Kirk-Gordon at No. 26 in foil and sophomore William Jeter at No. 35 in foil.

From the women's saber squad, Gaillard is ranked No. 8 and Grench is ranked No. 10. Other Buckeye women ranked include Siebert at No. 26 in saber; freshman Allison Rush at No. 33 in foil; freshman Elizabeth Knauer at No. 35 in saber and Brendler at No. 40 (tie) in epee.

After falling to rival Notre Dame in the 2005 NCAA Championship in Houston, Texas, the Buckeyes finished the season second in the NCAA with an overall record of 44-2. Leading up to the NCCA Championship, freshman Jeter placed first in the men's foil competition and freshman Gaillard placed first in the women's saber competition at the Midwest Region Qualifier on March 6, 2005. Ellis, Tolkachev and Byrne were named First-Team All-Americans, while Crompton, Rogers, Brendler, Gaillard and Hanna Thompson were named Second-Team All-Americans. Honorable Mention All-Americans were given to Rivera and Metta Thompson.

### Go Bucks! ###