Feb. 19, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams are each ranked first in the latest USFCA Coaches’ poll. It is the second of three polls the USFCA releases, with the final poll to appear in the first week of March after the NCAA Regional Qualifiers.
The men were previously tied with Penn State for first overall in the preseason USFCA poll, but after posting a 33-0 regular season mark they have earned top honors outright. The 33 wins are the most wins in a season in program history and included a 14-13 triumph over Penn State on January 31 at the Northwestern Duals.
Penn State is now ranked second, followed by Ohio State, Pennsylvania and Columbia. Rounding out the top ten are Princeton, St. John’s, Duke, Harvard and Stanford.
The women’s team was previously raked second overall, but posted a 32-2 regular season record including a 19-8 defeat of Penn State on January 31 at the Northwestern Duals en route to earning the number one ranking. The 32 wins tie the program best mark, first achieved in 1995.
On the women’s side, Penn State is also ranked second, followed by Ohio State, Harvard and Columbia-Barnard. Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Temple, St. John’s and Princeton round out the top ten.
Both teams are ranked first in the nation for the first time since the 2004 season-opening poll. At least one of the Irish fencing teams has held sole possession of the top ranking in eight of the past nine seasons (2001-06, 2008-09). The Notre Dame women now have been ranked number one in five of the past six years (all but ’07), while the men are in sole possession of the number one ranking for the first time since 2004.
The men’s and women’s fencing teams join the women’s soccer and hockey teams as Irish squads ranked first in the nation during the 2008-09 academic year. Women’s soccer spent much of the season ranked first overall as the team made a run to the national title game in Cary, N.C. The hockey team spent seven weeks ranked first in both the USA Today and USCHO.com polls from December 1 through January 26. It also marks the first time since 2000-01 that four different teams have been ranked first overall in the same academic year. During the 2000-01 campaign, the women’s soccer, women’s basketball and baseball teams joined the men’s fencing squad atop their respective polls.
Notre Dame’s fencing season continues with post-season play. First, the Irish will play host to the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1. Then on March 7, the Irish will travel to the NCAA Regionals in Columbus, Ohio.
Men's USFCA Poll - 2/19/09Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (1)2. Penn State (1)3. Ohio State (3)4. Pennsylvania (6)5. Columbia (4)6. Princeton (5)7. St. John's (9)8. Duke (10)9. Harvard (7)10. Stanford (8)
Others receiving votes -- North Carolina; NYU and Yale (tied); Brandeis; Wayne State; Air Force; Drew; MIT; UC-San Diego; Boston College and Johns Hopkins (tied); Brown; Vassar.
Women's USFCA Poll - 1/23/09Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (2)2. Penn State (1)3. Ohio State (3)4. Harvard (5)5. Columbia-Barnard (4)6. Pennsylvania (9)7. Northwestern (6)8. Temple (8)9. St. John's (NR)10. Princeton (7)
Others receiving votes: Duke; NYU; Yale; MIT; Stanford; Brandeis and North Carolina (tied); Cornell; Brown; UC-San Diego and Wayne State (tied).
— ND —