Buckeyes Set To Compete at NCAA Regional Qualifier

Go Buckeyes!
Go Buckeyes!

Go Buckeyes!

March 8, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio - After wrapping up its fifth-consecutive Midwest Conference title last weekend, the Ohio State fencing team now turns its focus to the NCAA Midwest Regional Qualifier Sunday in South Bend, Ind., where the Buckeyes will attempt to fill all 12 of the possible qualifying positions for the NCAA Championships March 22-25.

The event is hosted by Notre Dame at Joyce Athletic Center, where the Buckeyes won the league championship last weekend. Live results will be available at www.nd.edu/~fencing/web/index.htm. Women's competition begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by the men's competition at noon.

The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2 on the men's side and No. 6 on the women's side. Each school can qualify up to two men and two women in each weapon for the national championships. Last year, Ohio State qualified nine for nationals, but still took third in the nation ahead of several programs that qualified 12.

With a solid outing this weekend at the regional qualifier, Ohio State will put itself in position to place among the Top 4 at the national championships for the sixth-consecutive season.

Ohio State won four of six team competitions at the Midwest Conference Championships March 3-4 in South Bend, Ind., to take home the Buckeyes' fifth-consecutive conference title. The second-ranked OSU men's squad won all three team competitions, sweeping foil, epee and sabre for a total of 675 points. The fifth-ranked women's squad scored 645 points and won the sabre competition, while finishing second in both foil and epee. OSU was also successful in the individual competition, winning two individual titles and placing 18 athletes in the Top 8. Both men's and women's sabre titles belonged to the Buckeyes, with sophomore Mike Momtselidze and junior Siobhan Byrne each placing first.

At the Midwest Regional Qualifier in Cleveland last year, Ohio State qualified nine of its own to go to the 2006 NCAA National Championships in Houston, where the Buckeyes would go on to take third place. Six members of the men's squad advanced while three from the women went on to compete for the national title. A pair of eventual three-time NCAA champions for the Buckeyes placed first in their respective weapons as junior Boaz Ellis won foil and senior Adam Crompton won sabre.

The latest United States Fencing Association poll contained eight current Buckeyes. Sophomore Andras Horanyi is the top-ranked foil fencer in the senior division, rising one spot from No. 2 in previous several polls. Lindsey Knauer, who is currently injured, ranked No. 7 in senior women's foil while junior Eileen Grench rounded out the Top 10, ranking 10th in senior women's sabre.

Other notable rankings were turned in by senior Christian Rivera, who ranked 14th in senior men's epee, and sophomore Mike Momtselidze, who checked in at No. 11 in senior men's sabre.

Several former Buckeyes are also nationally ranked, including current volunteer assistant coaches Adam Crompton, who is ranked seventh in the senior men's sabre, and Hanna Thompson, who is ranked second in the senior women's foil. Jason Rogers jumped two spots in the poll to third in the senior men's sabre.

Ohio State went 9-1 at the New York University Duals Jan. 28, as the second-ranked OSU men went 5-0, while the women finished 4-1 with wins over Top 10 opponents Notre Dame and Northwestern. The Buckeye women's squad upset No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Northwestern en route to their 4-1 record. The 14-13 win over Notre Dame came just one week after the Buckeyes fell to the Fighting Irish 14-13 at the Notre Dame Duals. The OSU men also saw success, defeating No. 4 Columbia 14-13 and No. 5 Notre Dame 17-10.

Ohio State proved its elite status on the national stage at the Notre Dame Duals Jan. 20-21. The Buckeyes went 16-1 on the weekend, the sole loss coming at the hands of the Notre Dame women on a 14-13 decision. The No. 2-ranked men's team went undefeated, posting victories over No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 8 Stanford. Keyed by the clutch performances of junior Will Jeter and sophomore Jason Pryor, Ohio State edged the Fighting Irish men in the last two bouts of competition to take a decisive 14-13 win. The women's team, in addition to downing No. 10-ranked Stanford 19-8, went 7-1 in competition.

The Ohio State fencing team went unbeaten at the Ohio State Duals Feb. 10 in French Fieldhouse, compiling an overall 18-0 record. Facing all club opponents, the Buckeye men and women, ranked No. 2 and No. 6, respectively, both posted 9-0 marks while dominating their home facility.

The 2005-06 campaign was yet another stellar year for Ohio State fencing. The men's team went 22-0 in regular season competition while the women's squad recorded a 19-3 mark, bringing the combined team mark to a remarkable 41-3. At the Midwest Conference Championships, Ohio State swept the competition, capturing both men's and women's titles and defeating second place Notre Dame by 65 points. Seniors Boaz Ellis and Adam Crompton capped their collegiate careers with individual national titles at the NCAA Championships, steering Ohio State to an overall third place finish. Ellis and Crompton, along with Andras Horanyi, Denis Tolkachev, Jason Rogers and Kaela Brendler, took first-team All American honors.

### GO BUCKS! ###