Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Kiefer, Russo Shine At NCAA Regional Championships

March 11, 2017

NCAA Midwest Regional Championship Results

By Joanne Norell

DETROIT – The University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams put themselves into competitive position ahead of the NCAA Championships, turning in quality performances Saturday at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at Wayne State University.

The No. 3 Irish women and No. T-4 men boasted a combined six medalists, including a pair of regional champions as senior Lee Kiefer and junior Francesca Russo both walked away with first-place finishes.

Women’s Competition

Kiefer captured the women’s foil crown, turning in a 9-0 record with a +32 indicator. The three-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympian had just one one-touch bout on the day, winning 5-4 against defending national champion Eleanor Harvey of Ohio State. Also in foil, teammate Sabrina Massialas finished in fourth place with a 6-3 mark on the day.

Russo followed up her Atlantic Coast Conference title performance with her first regional championship, posting a 13-2 record with a +39 indicator. Sophomore Tara Hassett finished fourth in sabre with a 10-5 mark, while juniors Claudia Kulmacz (fifth) and Jamie Norville (12th) also competed for the Irish.

In women’s epee, sophomore Amanda Sirico tied for third, finishing with a 3-3 record in the field of seven. Classmate Madeline Antekeier finished fifth.

Men’s Competition

For the men, freshman Ariel Simmons posted the highest finish of the Irish, claiming silver in epee with a 9-2 record. Also in epee, sophomore Dylan French finished in fourth place.

Also claiming podium finishes were senior Virgile Collineau (foil) and junior Jonathan Fitzgerald (sabre). Collineau took bronze with an 8-2 record, while Fitzgerald also finished in third with an 8-3 mark. Posting fourth-place finishes were senior Kristjan Archer (foil) and Jonah Shainberg (sabre).

Sophomore Axel Kiefer (sixth, men’s foil), freshman Arsenii Panteleev (sixth, men’s sabre) and Ian Jones (eighth, men’s sabre) also competed for the Irish.

NCAA Outlook

The Irish are poised to send their top two finishers in each weapon to the NCAA Championships based on their finishes and the NCAA’s regional allocation formula. The Midwest may send four fencers in men’s epee, men’s sabre and women’s sabre and five fencers in men’s foil, women’s foil and women’s epee to the NCAA Championships. The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Fencing Committee will make its final selections for the championships on Tuesday.


NCAA Midwest Regional
March 11, 2017
Matthaei Center
Detroit, Michigan
Women’s Epee
T-3. Amanda Sirico (3-3)
5. Madeline Antekeier (2-4)
Women’s Foil
1. Lee Kiefer (9-0)
4. Sabrina Massialas (6-3)
Women’s Sabre
1. Francesca Russo (13-2)
4. Tara Hassett (10-5)
5. Claudia Kulmacz (9-6)
12. Jamie Norville (6-9)
Men’s Epee
2. Ariel Simmons (9-2)
4. Dylan French (8-3)
Men’s Foil
3. Virgile Collineau (8-2)
4. Kristjan Archer (7-3)
6. Axel Kiefer (6-4)
Men’s Sabre
3. Jonathan Fitzgerald (8-3)
4. Jonah Shainberg (8-3)
6. Arsenii Panteleev (7-4)
8. Ian Jones (4-7)

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.