Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Keys To The Meet: Northwestern Duals

Feb. 2, 2018

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The top-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams will compete at home for the final time in 2018, taking on some of the nation’s top teams at the Northwestern Duals.

WHAT: Northwestern Duals
WHERE: Castellan Family Fencing Center | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: Feb. 3-4, 2018
WHO: (Notre Dame opponents only) Pennsylvania, UC San Diego, Temple (W), Princeton, Northwestern, Cal Tech (W), Fairleigh Dickinson (W), Ohio State, Air Force, Stanford, Incarnate Word

Northwestern Duals Download

For the third straight season, the Castellan Family Fencing Center will serve as the host facility for the Northwestern Duals due to renovations at the Wildcats’ fencing facility. Notre Dame will take on some of the top teams in the country, including Pennsylvania (No. 7 men, No. 9 women) Temple (No. 7 women), Princeton (No. 6 men, No. 4 women), Northwestern (No. 8 women), Ohio State (No. 2 men, No. 5 women) and Stanford (No. 10 men, women receiving votes).

Notre Dame Schedule of Events
8 a.m. – Notre Dame (M&W) vs. Pennsylvania
9 a.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. UC San Diego
11 a.m. – Notre Dame (M) vs. UC San Diego; Notre Dame (W) vs. Temple
12:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. Princeton
1:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (M&W) vs. Northwestern
2:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. Cal Tech
3:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. Fairleigh Dickinson; Notre Dame (M) vs. Princeton

9 a.m. – Notre Dame (M&W) vs. Ohio State
Senior Day Recognition following lunch break
12:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. Air Force; Notre Dame (M) vs. Stanford
1:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (M&W) vs. Incarnate Word
2:30 p.m. – Notre Dame (W) vs. Stanford; Notre Dame (M) vs. Air Force

Rankings Rundown

CollegeFencing360 released the first coaches poll last week, with both Irish men and women topping the polls. The last time both teams opened the year at No. 1 was 2011, when the Irish went on to win the national championship.

Men’s Rankings

1. Notre Dame
2. Ohio State
2. Columbia
4. Penn State
5. Harvard
6. Princeton
7. Pennsylvania
8. St. John’s
9. Duke
10. Stanford

Women’s Rankings

1. Notre Dame
2. Columbia
3. Penn State
4. Princeton
5. Ohio State
6. Harvard
7. Temple
8. Northwestern
9. Pennsylvania
10. St. John’s

Last Time Out
Notre Dame hosted the DeCicco Duals from Jan. 27-28, with each team going 11-0 on the weekend.

A Banner 2017 Season

Last season, Notre Dame captured its ninth national title, serving as the host institution at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. It was a memorable spring for the Irish, who boasted two individual champions in Lee Kiefer (women’s foil) and Francesca Russo (women’s sabre), and seven additional All-Americans: Amanda Sirico (women’s epee), Sabrina Massialas (women’s foil), Kristjan Archer (men’s foil), Axel Kiefer (men’s foil), Ariel Simmons (men’s epee), Jonah Shainberg (men’s sabre), Jonathan Fitzgerald (men’s sabre). Notre Dame’s 186 team points were the most for the Irish in a championship win, and they bested the second-place team, Ohio State, by 25 points.

On The Return

Of Notre Dame’s 12 NCAA qualifiers last season, nine return to the Irish squad this season. Francesca Russo, Tara Hassett, Amanda Sirico, Sabrina Massialas, Jonathan Fitzgerald, Jonah Shainberg, Ariel Simmons, Dylan French, and Axel Kiefer all return to the strip for the 2017-18 season.


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.