Joanne Norell | November 7, 2017
The reigning 2017 NCAA Champion Notre Dame fencing program picked up where it left off when the Irish opened the season on Sunday at the Elite Invitational at Ohio State. The Irish women swept the field to open the year 5-0, while the men assembled a 3-1 mark on the day.
The women’s team defeated Cornell (18-9), Ohio State (20-7), Air Force (22-5), North Carolina (18-9) and Princeton (20-7) on a virtually perfect day at French Field House. Junior epeeist Amanda Sirico was undefeated on the day, going 13-0, while freshman squadmate Dasha Yefremenko was 12-3, competing in all five matches. In sabre, defending champion Francesca Russo was 8-1 on the day, while junior Elyssa Kleiner posted the same mark in foil.
The men’s team opened the day with a seesaw match against Ohio State that ultimately went to the Buckeyes, who won four straight points after an 11-11 tie to win 15-12. The Irish went on to defeat Air Force (16-11), North Carolina (21-6), and Princeton (15-12) to wrap the day.
The Irish men were led by sophomore sabreur Arsenii Panteleev, who went 9-3 on the day. In foil junior Axel Kiefer and senior Hazem Khazbak were each 6-2 and freshman Nick Itkin was 6-3, and senior Nicholas Hanahan registered an 8-4 mark in epee.
Members of the Irish will be back in action Nov. 10-13 at the USA Fencing North American Cup in Kansas City, Missouri. The next collegiate competition for the Irish will take place Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at the St. John’s Invitational in Jamaica, New York.