Feb. 17, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams each claimed the top overall spot in the latest USFCA Coaches’ polls it was announced Wednesday morning by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA). The men’s and women’s fencing teams are the first Notre Dame teams to earn national number one rankings during the 2009-10 academic year.
The men were previously ranked second behind Penn State in the preseason USFCA poll, but after posting a 33-0 regular season record including a 16-11 defeat of the Nittany Lions on Jan. 24, they earned top honors. The women’s team was previously ranked second as well, but posted a 35-0 regular season record that included a 14-13 defeat of Penn State on Jan. 24 at the St. John’s Challenge.
The men’s and women’s teams combined for undefeated regular seasons for the first time in 19 years and just the fourth time overall, having previously done so in 1986, 1987 and 1991.
The teams are ranked first overall for the first time since the final poll of the 2009 season. With their newfound top rankings, at least one of the Irish fencing teams has now held sole possession of the top spot in nine of the past ten seasons (2001-06, 2008-10). Furthermore, the Notre Dame women now have been ranked number one in six of the past seven years (all but ’07).
As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign will reappear atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag will now fly outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center.
The poll was the second of three polls the USFCA will release during the 2010 fencing season, with the final poll to appear in March after the NCAA Regional Qualifiers.
The Irish fencing teams will now look to follow up on their dominating 2010 regular season performance when they play host to the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships on March 6 and 7 at the Joyce Center. Then on March 13 and 14 the Irish will participate in the 2010 NCAA Midwest Regional, which will be hosted by Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.
Notes: Dating back to 2008, the men have not lost a regular season match in their last 77 contests, which is the fourth longest streak in program history (third best stretch was 90 consecutive wins from 2000-04) … Dating back to last season, the women have now won 59 consecutive regular-season matches, which is the second longest unbeaten stretch in program history (best stretch is 75 consecutive wins from 1993-96) … senior epeeist Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) concluded her final regular season with the Irish on a 62-bout undefeated streak, which dates back to the St. John’s Challenge … Hurley also improved her career record to 213-23 after the Notre Dame duals, placing her in third on Notre Dame’s all-time regular season wins list for female epeeists … Hurley is just the third epeeist, and 12th fencer overall, to crack the 200-career regular season wins plateau in the storied history of the women’s fencing program at Notre Dame.
Men's USFCA Poll - 2/17/10Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (2)2. Penn State (1)3. Ohio State (3)4. Princeton (4)5. St. John's (NY) (8)6. Harvard (7)7. Pennsylvania (6)8. Columbia (5)9. Duke (10)10. Air Force (NR)
Others receiving votes: NYU, Yale, North Carolina, Stanford, UC-San Diego, Sacred Heart, Wayne State, Brown.
Women's USFCA Poll - 2/17/10Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (2)2. Penn State (1)3. Northwestern (5)4. Princeton (9)5. Columbia-Barnard (4)6. St. John's (NY) (NR)7. Ohio State (6)8. Temple (7)9. Harvard (3)10. Pennsylvania (8)
Others receiving votes: Duke, Yale, UC-San Diego, North Carolina, Cornell, Brandeis, NYU, Brown, Stanford.
— ND —