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Keys To The Meet: ACC Championships

Feb. 24, 2017

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing programs will look to win their third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship titles this weekend when they compete at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

WHAT: ACC Fencing Championships
WHO: Notre Dame, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina
WHERE: Cameron Indoor Stadium | Durham, N.C.
WHEN: Feb. 25-26, 2016 | Competition begins at 8 a.m. ET Saturday and 7 a.m. ET Sunday
WATCH: ACC Network Extra
TWITTER: @NDFencing | @ACCFencing | #ACCFencing

ACC Championships Overview

The 2016 Men’s and Women’s Fencing Championships will be contested as a two-day event with individual and team championships taking place on opposite days. The women’s individual competition will kickstart the event at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, followed by the men’s team competition at 1:30 p.m. On Sunday, the men’s individual tournament will start at 7 a.m., with the men’s team competition starting at 12:30 p.m. The team competition will be held in a round robin dual format, with total record determining the champion. The individual competition will feature pool play to determine seeding for direct elimination rounds.

The ACC once held a men’s fencing championship from 1971 to 1980, but fencing did not return as an ACC-sponsored sport until 2015.

Irish at the ACC Championships

Both Irish men and women are the reigning two-time ACC Champions, having each captured the team titles in 2015 and 2016. The Irish also boasted five individual champions last season: Jonah Shainberg (men’s sabre), Axel Kiefer (men’s foil), Dylan French (men’s epee), Sabrina Massialas (women’s foil) and Catherine Lee (women’s epee).

The Irish claimed four additional men’s podium finishes, with Kristjan Archer and Virgile Collineau taking second and third in foil behind Kiefer and Jonathan Fitzgerald and Ian Jones placing just behind Shainberg in sabre. On the women’s side, Elyssa Kleiner and Nicole McKee finished in second and third behind Massialas in foil; Tara Hassett was the runner-up in sabre; and Madeline Antekeier placed third in epee.

The 2017 Irish roster also boasts returning 2015 ACC Champions in Lee Kiefer (women’s foil), Collineau (men’s foil) and Fitzgerald (men’s sabre).

Schedule of Events

(All Times Eastern)
Saturday, February 27
Women’s Individual Tournament
8 a.m. — Foil, Epee, Sabre Pools
12 p.m. — Semifinal Bouts
12:30 p.m. — Championship Bouts
Men’s Team Tournament
1:30 p.m. — No. 4 Notre Dame v. Boston College | No. 9 Duke v. North Carolina
2:30 p.m. — No. 4 Notre Dame v. North Carolina | No. 9 Duke v. Boston College
3:30 p.m. — No. 4 Notre Dame v. No. 9 Duke | North Carolina v. Boston College
4:30 p.m. — Awards

Sunday, February 28
Men’s Individual Tournament
7 a.m. — Foil, Epee, Sabre Pools
11 a.m. — Semifinal Bouts
11:30 a.m. — Championship Bouts
Women’s Team Tournament
12:30 p.m. — No. 3 Notre Dame v. Boston College | No. 10 Duke v. North Carolina
1:30 p.m. — No. 3 Notre Dame v. No. 10 Duke | North Carolina v. Boston College
2:30 p.m. — No. 3 Notre Dame v. North Carolina | No. 10 Duke v. Boston College
3:30 p.m. — Awards

Broadcast Details

The 2017 ACC Fencing Championships will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, with four hours of coverage each day beginning with the individual championship bouts and following the team competition. Coverage will begin Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Last Time Out: Northwestern Duals

It has been three weeks since the Irish last competed, when they took part in the Northwestern Duals on February 4 & 5 at the Castellan Family Fencing Center. The Irish men went 7-4, while the women posted a 10-1 record on the weekend.

ACC Fencers of the Week

The Irish have had four fencers named Atlantic Coast Conference Fencers of the Week, with three women and one man claiming the honors. Senior Lee Kiefer was named the ACC Female Fencer of the week on January 24 following a dominant performance at the St. John’s and NYU Invitationals, posting a 20-0 record on the weekend. Kiefer is 27-0 in dual competition this season and owns a 130-17 career record. On February 1, sophomore epeeist Amanda Sirico and senior sabreur Ian Dwyer swept the week’s honors, with Sirico notching the decisive bout victory in No. 3 Notre Dame’s 14-13 win over No. 4 Northwestern at the DeCicco Duals and Dwyer boasting a 17-1 mark over two days of competition. The next week, sophomore foilist Elyssa Kleiner copped ACC honors after going 20-1 at the Northwestern Duals, including 15-1 against ranked opponents.

Rankings Summary

The second Coaches Poll was released on February, with the Irish women holding steady at No. 3 and the men’s staying put at No. 4.

Women’s Rankings
1. Princeton
2. Columbia
3. Notre Dame
4. Penn
5. Penn State
6. Ohio State
7. Temple
8. Northwestern
9. Harvard
10. Duke

Men’s Rankings
1. Ohio State
2. Columbia
3. Penn State
4. Notre Dame
5. Penn
6. Princeton
7. St. John’s
8. Harvard
9. Duke
10. NYU

To keep up with Irish fencing, visit, follow @NDFencing on Twitter and like Notre Dame Fencing on Facebook.


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 women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.