COLLEGE FENCING 360.com
contact: Pete LaFleur (email@example.com)
(for the week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2009)
HONORABLE MENTION (TBA, check back later to this release)
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A pair of Notre Dame epeeists – sophomore women's fencer Ewa Nelip and senior men's standout Karol Kostka – have been named the CollegeFencing360 national fencers of the week, for the week of Jan. 26-Feb. 1. The pair of Poland natives have led the way for Notre Dame fencing teams that own a 34-2 combined record for the 2009 spring season.
The CF360 fencer-of-the-week awards are based on several factors, including: won-loss record, level of competition, clutch performances and significant role played in team victories.
NELIP (Katowice, Polan) – who placed third at the 2008 NCAA Championships – won all 18 of her bouts for the second-ranked Irish women's team, during weekend action at the Northwestern Duals. Six of her victories came versus fellow All-America fencers, along with three other wins over opponents who have qualified for previous NCAAs.
Led by Nelip's perfect record, the Notre Dame women won all 11 of their matches at the NU Duals – including victories over #1 Penn State (19-8), #3 Ohio State (17-10), #6 Northwestern (16-11) and #8 Temple (19-8). Nelip allowed only 29 opponents touches in her 18 bouts, for a lowly average of 1.6 opponent touches per bout. She won five times by a 5-0 score, three times by 5-1 and five other times by a 5-2 count (Northwestern two-time All-American Christa French was the only fencer to score more than three touches vs. Nelip, in a 5-4 loss).
Nelip impressively surrendered only one touch versus top-ranked Penn State, with a shutout win over two-time All-American Anastasia Ferdman (6th at '08 NCAAs, 4th in '07), a 5-1 victory over All-American Keri Byerts (5th in '08) and a 5-0 bout vs. Nina Westman. She had a similar sweep of Northwestern's talented epee trio, besting Joanna Niklinska (12th in '08 NCAAs) by a 5-3 score to go along with a pair of wins over the French twins (5-2 vs. Kaylee, who competed in the '07 NCAAs, and the 5-4 bout vs. Christa (6th in '07 NCAAs, 10th in '08).
In the win over Ohio State, Nelip turned in a 5-2 win over converted foilist Julia Tichonova (5th in '07 NCAA foil) and shut out Miriam Baranov (she did not fence a third bout vs. OSU). A pair of Temple fencers with NCAA experience – All-American Kristin Howell (3-5; 9th at '08 NCAAs) and Grace Wu (2-5) – also failed to derail Nelip from her impressive weekend win streak. Nelip could have racked up several more wins, but she was not used versus Lawrence and fenced only one bout versus four teams (Wayne St., Cleveland St., North Carolina and Detroit).
KOSTKA – a three-time NCAA participant and two-time All-American (11th in '07, 9th in '08) – nearly matched Nelip's unbeaten performance, with his only loss coming by a single point (4-5) to the two-time defending NCAA champion, Wayne State's Slava Zingerman. Kostka surrendered only 36 points in his 16 bouts (2.3/bout) while spearheading Notre Dame men's wins over Penn State (14-13, in matchup of co-#1s), #3 Ohio State (15-12) and #10 North Carolina (21-6). His 16 wins included 10 by scores of 5-2 or better (two 5-0, three 5-1, five 2-0), plus a pair of 5-3 wins and four bouts that went 5-4 (three wins and the loss to Zingerman).
In Saturday's big showdown with Penn
State, Kostka was the only fencer from either team to go 3-0 – with
a shutout of two-time NCAA participant James Moody, a 5-2 win over
Brian Heflich and a victory by the same score of Max Dettinger
(forging an 11-11 tie in the team score). One day later, Kostka had
another crucial win in the lalegoing, edging fellow All-American
Jason Pryor (5-4) for a 13-11 team lead over Ohio State. Earlier in
that match, he posted wins over Igor Tolkachev (5-4) and Eric
Kostka's near-perfect weekend also
included a 5-2 victory over Wayne State's Mykhaylo Mazur, who earned
2007 All-America honors (9th-place finish) while competing for Ohio