Penn State Men¡¯s and Women¡¯s Fencing Suffer One-Point Losses to Notre Dame
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., December 6, 2003 ¨C The Penn State men¡¯s and women¡¯s fencing teams both suffered 14-13 losses to defending National Champion Notre Dame in the season-opening dual meet today at the White Building. The Nittany Lions were also scheduled to host NYU, Princeton, Rutgers, and North Carolina, but the east coast schools could not make the trip to State College due to inclement weather.
The Penn State men¡¯s squad defeated the Fighting Irish in the saber and epee but struggled in the foil, allowing Notre Dame to post the narrow one-point victory. The Nittany Lions prevailed in the men¡¯s saber and epee by scores of 5-4 and 6-3, respectively. Notre Dame controlled the men¡¯s foil, winning 7-2. The Nittany Lions were led by three-time All-American Adam Wiercioch (Gliwice, Poland). The senior leader posted a perfect 3-0 record in his epee bouts. Sophomore Alexander Bruscke (North Caldwell, N.J.) also fenced well with a 2-1 record in the men¡¯s epee.
The Nittany Lion women also won two of the three weapons, but they suffered a lopsided loss in the third weapon to open the door for Notre Dame. Penn State recorded a 5-4 victory in the women¡¯s foil and a 7-2 win in the women¡¯s epee. The Nittany Lions were hampered in the women¡¯s saber by the absence of starters Meredith Steyer (Topsfield, Mass.) and Laura Hilstrom (Gaithersburg, Md.), who are both out with injuries. As a result, the Fighting Irish posted a crucial 8-1 victory in the weapon. Defending women¡¯s epee National Champion Katarzyna Trzopek (Warsaw, Poland) notched a flawless performance with a 3-0 mark. Penn State freshmen Katherine Cook (Setauket, N.Y.) and Case Szarwark (Nashville, Tenn.) posted strong showings in their dual meet debuts, going 2-1 in the women¡¯s epee.
Penn State head coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was pleased that his teams each won two of three weapons against the defending National Champions, but he was disappointed with the narrow loss. ¡°It¡¯s kind of a pity that we won four of six weapons and still lost, but that¡¯s part of the game,¡± said Kaidanov. ¡°What can you say? It¡¯s still early in the season.¡±
With the loss, the Penn State men¡¯s and women¡¯s teams fell to 0-1 on the year. The Notre Dame men¡¯s squad improved to 4-0, while the women improved to 5-0. Next weekend, select members of the Penn State fencing teams will travel to Palm Springs, Calif., for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which are scheduled for Dec. 12-14.