Conte Forum had a change of scenery on Saturday and Sunday as the ACC Fencing Championships came to Boston College. No. 1 ranked Notre Dame came out on top in all categories, taking home gold for both their men’s and women’s teams.
Notre Dame, Duke, the University of North Carolina, and BC (ranked in that order) faced off as the only four fencing teams in the ACC. Saturday was dedicated to women’s individuals and men’s team fencing. Sunday was men’s individuals and women’s team.
Last year, Duke won the men’s side of the competition, while UNC took it home for the women after a tiebreaking match with Notre Dame. After their ACC loss, Notre Dame would go on to win the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame came into this past weekend as the heavy favorites, with their four-year-old program ranked number one in the country.
Although ranked first, this was the first time in program history that Notre Dame swept in all six categories: men and women’s foil, sabre, and epee. Continuing their dominance, the Irish also boasted both Most Valuable Fencers. Sophomore foilist Nick Itkin and freshman sabreuse Kara Linder won the top honor.
Standout fencers for BC were Thomas Junseo Park and freshman Spencer Kuldell. Both men were semifinalists in their respective weapons (epee and sabre). Park finished in fourth place after winning 10 matches in the first round and losing to no. 2 Stephen Ewart from Notre Dame in the semifinals. Kuldell also finished in fourth after originally winning 10 and losing to no. 2 Matthew Garrelick from UNC.
Park and Kuldell’s fourth place achievements marked the first time the Eagles had finalists in the men’s ACC Championships.
On the women’s side for BC, Gabrielle Chau went 3-0 against Notre Dame in the first round of competition. Gillian Lawlor, Brooke Solsky, and freshman Laura Boden also had strong performances, each going 2-1 against no. 6 nationally ranked Duke.
BC fencing has had an especially successful year, despite a loss at this tournament. They came in second place at the fencing Beanpot, held on February 13. They’ve also enjoyed wins at the Eric Sollee Invitational Tournament at MIT and the Northeast Championships. The team is anchored by 12 freshmen fencers and also have a new coach this year, Brendan Doris-Pierce.
Ahead for the team is NCAA Northeast Fencing Regionals, which will be held on March 10 by Columbia University, at Vassar College.
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