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Irish Tied For First After Day One At NCAA Championships

March 22, 2018

Day 1 Team Results Get Acrobat Reader | Day 1 Individual Results Get Acrobat Reader

By Joanne Norell

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The University of Notre Dame fencing team has put itself in competitive position after one day of competition Thursday at the four-day National Collegiate Fencing Championships at Penn State’s Multi-Sport Facility. The Irish sit in a tie for first place after the first three rounds of fencing in women’s foil, epee and sabre.

The Irish totaled 56 points Thursday, tying Columbia for the lead. Penn State sits in third place with 52 points, followed by Ohio State with 51.

How It Happened

Juniors Elyssa Kleiner and Sabrina Massialas opened the day strong, each dropping just two bouts through the first two rounds of competition to hover at the top of the leaderboard. By the time competition wrapped for the day after three rounds, Kleiner found herself with a 12-3 record and in first place – ahead of Columbia’s Slyvie Binder and Iman Blow thanks to a +28 indicator – while Massialas sits in seventh with a 10-5 mark and +22 indicator.

Junior Amanda Sirico was dominant Thursday, pacing the women’s epee field with a 13-2 record and +32 indicator. Sirico was 4-0 against opponents from top teams Columbia and Ohio State, helping the Irish to a slim lead in the team competition after Day One.

Freshman Dasha Yefremenko added three points to the Irish score total for the day.

Senior and defending women’s sabre champion Francesca Russo finished the day with an 11-4 mark, sitting in fourth place and joining Sirico with a perfect 4-0 mark against opponents from Columbia and Ohio State. In 15th place is junior Tara Hassett, who was 3-1 against the Lions and Buckeyes and totaled a 7-8 mark through three rounds.

From Coach Gia Kvaratskhelia

On the team’s standing through three rounds of competitionââ’¬¦
“We are fighting as hard as we possibly can. I’m very proud of the effort we are putting out and everything else is just results.”

On the positive outcomes from Thursdayââ’¬¦
“The entire team is being very cohesive and putting out the maximum RPMs. I’m having a hard time really separating anyone. They are truly six student-athletes who are pounding forward. We need to continue the same effort, tenacity and intensity and see where we are (tomorrow).”


National Collegiate Fencing Championships
March 22-25, 2016
Multi-Sport Facility | Penn State
State College, Pa.
Women’s Competition (March 22-23)
Foil (Rounds 1-3)
1. Elyssa Kleiner, 12-3
7. Sabrina Massialas, 10-5
Epee (Rounds 1-3)
1. Amanda Sirico, 13-2
24. Dasha Yefremenko, 3-12
Sabre (Rounds 1-3)
4. Francesca Russo 11-4
15. Tara Hassett 7-8

Team Standings
1. Notre Dame 56 (+79)
2. Columbia 56 (+66)
3. Penn State 52
4. Ohio State 51
5. St. John’s 43

Up Next

The women’s competition will conclude on Friday at the Multi-Sport Facility at Penn State. Action will start at 9 a.m. ET with the fourth and fifth rounds of pool competition, followed by a final four direct elimination competition for each weapon beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The semifinal and championship bouts will be broadcast on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame men’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to assisting with football communications and overseeing production of the football Gameday Magazine. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.