March 25, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS — The University of Notre Dame fencing team posted another impressive day of results during Day 3 of the 2017 National Collegiate Fencing Championship at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis on Saturday. The Irish women entered the fray for the first time and ended up victorious in 73 percent (66-of-90) of their bouts.
By the time the sabre competition wrapped up its third round in the early evening, Notre Dame had increased its overall lead on the combined leaderboard to 21 points over Ohio State and 26 points over Columbia. Sunday will bring the final two rounds in each weapon, followed by the semifinals and finals for each (which does not count toward the team point total).
With their solid all-around effort on the day, the Irish are in strong contention to claim their ninth fencing national championship (three men’s, one women’s and four combined have been won previously) sometime on Sunday afternoon.
How It Happened
Sophomore Sabrina Massialas and senior Lee Kiefer combined to finish the first three rounds of women’s foil with a 25-5 (.833) record to end up in second and third entering the final two rounds on Sunday. Massialas was 13-2, while Kiefer remains in contention for her fourth career national title with a 12-3 record after day one.
On the epee strips, sophomore Amanda Sirico is in the running to make tomorrow’s semifinals, posting a 12-3 record for third place after three rounds. Classmate Madeline Antekeier ended the day 6-9 and is in 16th place entering the final two rounds on Saturday.
Sabre proved to be another strength for the Irish on Saturday. Junior Francesca Russo has her eyes on a second individual national title (she won as a freshman in 2015) by finishing the day 14-1 to end up in first place. Sophomore Tara Hassett, who finished 12th in sabre a year ago at the NCAA meet, was strong on the day as well with a 9-6 record. Hassett will be in seventh place entering Saturday’s last two rounds.
From Coach Gia Kvarataskhelia
On day three at the NCAA ChampionshipÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“I think it was just the manifestation of the hard work and complete connection of the team with each other. It is far from over. We had a great day today. We need to come out and put together a productive day tomorrow to reach the ultimate goal.
“Tomorrow is a new day. We are going to start like it is zero to zero. We will come out with the same intensity and see what will happen.”
On the raucous crowd supportÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“This is what we do. Win or lose that is what our kids do all the time. This is normal. Our practices are loud. It is just gratifying that our kids can experience these high notes.”
National Collegiate Fencing Championships
March 23-26, 2016
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Women’s Competition (March 25-26)
Foil (Rounds 1-3)
2. Sabrina Massialas (13-2)
3. Lee Kiefer (12-3)
Epee (Rounds 1-3)
3. Amanda Sirico (12-3)
16. Madeline Antekeier (6-9)
Sabre (Rounds 1-3)
1. Francesca Russo (14-1)
7. Tara Hassett (9-6)
- Notre Dame, 152, 48 bouts remaining
- Ohio State, 131, 40 bouts remaining
- Columbia, 126, 48 bouts remaining
- Princeton, 118, 40 bouts remaining
- St. John’s, 105, 24 bouts remaining
Competition will conclude Sunday with the final two rounds of women’s epee, foil and sabre, followed by the semifinal and championship bouts. The semifinals and finals will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET and stream live on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.