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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer

Irish victorious at two weekend events

This could be a special year for Notre Dame fencing. The team has been responsible for keeping the No. 1 above Grace Hall lit for the last three years. Later in the year, they’ll have the chance at a historic four-peat. Taking care of business in the meantime is important, though. 

The Irish did just that over the weekend, starting 2024 off on a strong note. Notre Dame’s team took a trip East for a pair of competitions, starting with the St. John’s Invitational on Jan. 20 and continuing to the Philadelphia Invitational (hosted by Penn) on Jan. 21. Both the men’s and women’s teams posted winning records across both events, with the men going 4-1 at St. John’s and everyone else going 3-2. The Irish have posted winning records at every event in their 2023-24 season.

At St. John’s, the men’s team beat Ohio State, Penn State and Harvard by identical 17-10 scores. They also earned a victory over St. John’s, beating them 16-11, but their hopes of a perfect competition were spoiled by Columbia. Freshman foil Dominic Joseph compiled a strong 7-3 record, suffering only one loss outside of the Columbia match. Senior sabre Luke Linder, a two-time individual national champion, was even better, posting a 12-3 mark.

The women’s team pulled out wins over Ohio State (17-10), Penn State (19-8) and Harvard (14-13). St. John’s and Columbia got the better of them, winning 18-9 and 16-11, respectively. Sophomore foil Adriana Tucker led the way with a 9-3 mark, going 7-2 across the team’s three victories.

In the City of Brotherly Love, the women’s team faced five top-15 opponents. The Irish handed losses to No. 3 Columbia (15-12), No. 11 Temple (20-7) and No. 13 St. John’s (16-11). They were on the wrong side of the ledger against No. 8 Princeton and No. 7 Penn. Tucker continued her strong weekend with a perfect 12-3 performance.

Four of the five opponents the men faced sat inside the top 10. The Irish beat three of them, besting No. 3 Princeton 15-12, No. 8 St. John’s 22-5 and No. 7 Penn 14-13. Meanwhile, No. 2 Columbia bested the Irish 14-13, as did No. 11 Yale by an identical score. Graduate student epee Valentin Matveev, competing in his first collegiate season since 2020-21, recorded 10 wins on the day.

Notre Dame returns home for the first of two occasions this season. The Irish host the Decicco Duals from Jan. 27-28. The ACC Championships will also be held on campus from Feb. 24-25.